Building on 35 pc growth in Indian visitors, Ras Al Khaimah commits to sustainable tourism and further development of MICE and wedding venues across the emirate, along with also focusing on hosting the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) convention in September this year.
The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, outlined its strategy for 2017 for the Indian market, during a press conference in New Delhi yesterday.
Year-on-year, India has continued to remain one of the most significant source markets in terms of visitors, accounting for 8 pc of total visitors to Ras Al Khaimah last year. Tourist footfall from India in first quarter this year grew by 35 pc, while the number of guest nights taken by Indian tourists grew to 49.4 pc in the same period as compared to Q1 2016. Furthermore, the average length of stay of Indian guests in Q1 2017 grew by 10.6 pc.
“We have seen a 35 pc growth in the first quarter of 2017, thus making India the 4th largest market for Ras Al Khaimah. We are furthermore attracting families for MICE and wedding travels into the city. Indians travel a lot for weddings and we had five weddings during the first three months of 2017 and 10 more are already booked for this year, ” Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, told Media India Group.
With effortless air connectivity to Ras Al Khaimah, the city has seen a growing trend from Indian inbound tourism for short leisure stays, MICE and the wedding sector, and is expected to be an important contributor to the emirate’s vision to attract one million visitors by the end of 2018.
One of the world’s fastest growing tourism destinations, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a rich culture and long-standing history dating back to 7,000 years. The emirate boasts an array of archaeological sites and breathtaking natural vistas, including golden sand beaches, terracotta dunes and a green belt of date palms.
Ras Al Khaimah hosts a diverse array of natural landscapes that appeal to visitors of every kind, whether it’s beach-lovers, active adventurers or wellness seekers. Most hotels offer Indian cuisine and water sports that extend to romantic view of the marine life, including flamingos, turtles and more. The place will also soon come up with the world’s longest zip line, an observation deck and luxury mountain camp, and will launch official cycling and hiking routes across the emirate, with a focus on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain peak.
Aimed at further strengthening the offering for Ras Al Khaimah tourism among the Indian travel industry, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) for a three-day convention to be held in the emirate during September 12-14, 2017.
Around 225 delegates, including overseas participants are expected to be a part of the event. The convention will feature multiple business sessions featuring national and international speakers and discuss the growth of India outbound and subsequent future marketing strategies.
“We are really excited about having this convention. The intention is to add new products and after all the studies we have done, we found nothing better than Ras Al Khaimah,” said Guldeep Sahni, President, OTOAI.