Embrace social media, Sharjah tourism sector told

SCTDA calls for more training opportunities and workshops to encourage best practices

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority director general Khalid Jasim Al Midfa
Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority director general Khalid Jasim Al Midfa

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has called for more training opportunities and workshops to encourage best practices in social media in the tourism sector.

Highlighting the way in which social media can have both positive and negative impacts on the growth prospects of companies, it cited the 82 million Arab users of social media today, comprising 22% of the regional population, according to the latest Arab Social Media Report, produced by the Dubai School of Government's Governance and Innovation Program

---IN NUMBERS: HOTEL GROUPS ON SOCIAL MEDIA---

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SCTDA director general Khalid Jasim Al Midfa said: “The tourism sector has witnessed significant growth in recent years due to the enhanced use of social media.

“Through the medium of social media it is possible to create hype over a single photo around the world as users post reviews, comments and likes, and share their personal experiences.”

“Sharjah tourism has not only adopted social media as the main tool to market the emirate as a tourist destination but we have also been keenly organising seminars and workshops involving social media experts to shed light on the international best practices

“These efforts are part of our strategy to position Sharjah as a role model for community and knowledge based economy.”

In February last year, the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority indicated that it may soon become the first tourism authority to integrate social media ratings into its official hotel classification system.

At the time, it said it was considering monitoring hotel social media ratings and using them to hold operators accountable for bad reviews and negative feedback.

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