[IMG=21042-6881]According to Sharjah's representative in the Russian Federation, Kim Waddoup, the decision to open the Sharjah Tourism Office in Moscow was made by the government of the UAE - which considers the travel and tourism industry to be one of the primary profit sources for the country. Waddoup commented that: ‘The potential of Russia is very high and we are interested in the increase of the tourist flow to the Emirate. At the moment many tourists from Russia associate the UAE with Dubai only. I have heard an opinion that Sharjah is one of the suburbs of Dubai. Therefore, our aim will be to popularize the Emirate in the Russian market’. At present, the Sharjah Tourism Office is planning its marketing campaign and setting the budget for advertising; active co-operation with mass media is planned.
Until now, the UAE has been represented in Russia only by the Department of Tourism and Commercial Marketing of Dubai. Sergey Kanaev, Director of the Department, feels optimistic towards the appearance of the Emirate-“competitor”, emphasizing that: ‘both Dubai and Sharjah have their peculiarities, have their own goals. Therefore, it is not competition but a step forward to more effective co-operation. Most probably we will work together on corporate projects, make mutual decisions about advertising and promotion, and attract investments especially for hotel base extension’.
Meanwhile, tour operators that specialize in the UAE market have the same opinion. Thus, Yuri Kisilev, Director of the Commercial Department of Turkey and the UAE of Lanta-tour Voyage, said: ‘Sharjah is becoming more and more popular. Therefore, there is a necessity to co-operate with the authorities of the Emirates. Before, the co-operation was realized via the Department of Tourism of Dubai. However, it was not always convenient. Now, I think, this problem will be eliminated’.
Furthermore, Moscow will soon see the opening of Abu Dhabi Tourism Office.
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