The Sharjah Hospitality Forum 2020 (SHF 2020), which commenced on November 16, discussed the best and fastest recovery path for the emirate’s tourism sector, with the participants proposing innovative solutions to support the stakeholders of the tourism, hospitality and travel industries.
Organised by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), the seventh edition of SHF, held virtually for the first time due to COVID-19, highlighted the emerging tourism, hospitality and travel challenges and opportunities in a post-pandemic era. The event also showcased the most successful tourism projects and the latest innovations that are driving tourism recovery.
High-profile speakers from the government and private sectors, experts, decision-makers, tourism and economic stakeholders, and representatives of local authorities and international organisations took part in the forum.
The forum’s series of virtual dialogue sessions highlighted the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global tourism and travel sector, as well as the future growth prospects for airline and travel companies amid exceptional challenges today. Practical solutions were posited by attendees to accelerate recovery, while putting forward short and long-term opportunities and the importance of deploying innovative platforms, including smart and remote-work tools, allowing for successful adapting to the new reality.
The forum also shed light on the UAE’s COVID-19 response and strategies, as the country was included in the top 10 countries in the world for coronavirus treatment. The participants expressed confidence in the country’s future growth prospects, citing the significant initiatives and economic stimulus packages launched by the UAE’s wise leadership to bring back vibrancy to the tourism and hospitality sectors while following precautionary measures.
The discussions further addressed the international protocols for contagious diseases, epidemics and crises, as well as their impact on the future of tourism as a major global economic sector. In addition, the participants exchanged insights and best practices to support tourism recovery in the coming era.
Speaking on the event was Director General, Sharjah Department of eGovernment, HE Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Sultan Al-Qassimi: “Tourism is among the hardest-hit sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis that has deeply challenged all segments of society, especially the healthcare, social, and economic sectors. However, despite its negative impact, the pandemic has spurred the growth of digital transformation. In this respect, the UAE has demonstrated its readiness and ability to ensure business continuity in vital sectors, including travel, tourism, and hospitality, capitalising on the country’s advanced technological infrastructure.
“In line with the directives of H. H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, we remain committed to provide top-notch technical services to all Sharjah’s governmental entities, using world-class platforms, while ensuring compliance with the highest standards of cybersecurity and personal privacy. We are confident that the ongoing global crisis will eventually come to an end, and the tourism sector will restore its vibrancy and growth.” he concluded.