RAS AL KHAIMAH TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY REPORTS 35% GROWTH IN INDIAN VISITORS
- The region’s fastest growing destination showcases MICE and Wedding Tourism developments Indian roadshow in Mumbai and Delhi
- More than 220 Indian delegates to attend three-day conference in Ras Al Khaimah in September following MOU with Outbound Tour Operators Association of India
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, conducted a media and trade roadshow in India this week to outline its 2017 strategy for the Indian market. Visitors from India to the emirate in Q1 2017 grew by 35 per cent, while the number of guest nights taken by Indian tourists grew 49.4 per cent in the same period when compared to Q1 2016. Furthermore, the average length of stay of Indian guests in Q1 2017 has grown by 10.6 per cent.
During the visit, RAKTDA announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) for a three-day convention to be held in Ras Al Khaimah in September 2017. Aimed at further strengthening the offering for Ras Al Khaimah tourism among the Indian travel industry, the convention will bring more than 220 delegates to the destination to discuss the growth of India outbound tourism and subsequent future marketing strategies.
“As part of our vision to attract one million visitors to Ras Al Khaimah by the end of 2018, India will be an important contributor, and is currently our fourth largest international source market. We have seen a growing trend from Indian inbound tourism for short leisure stays, MICE and in the wedding sector. Our aim is to promote the full breadth of unique activities and events that can be enjoyed in the emirate, with a view to encourage Indian travellers to lengthen their stay in the destination. We are optimistic that through focused efforts and participation in various roadshows and trade events, tourism from India will continue to develop in the coming years,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, while addressing the press conference in Delhi.
“Some of our iconic properties like the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah and the luxurious Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah, a Ritz–Carlton Partner Hotel, have been home to some high-profile Indian weddings in the emirate and Ras Al Khaimah is being positioned as a discerning wedding destination in India. The outbound wedding business from India was estimated at US$40 billion last year, and we are well positioned to tap into this segment,” added Mattar.
Building on the successful launch of the region’s first commercial Via Ferrata and the hosting of major international sporting events such as the Ras Al Khaimah 2016 Golf Challenge – the penultimate stop of the European Challenge Tour – RAKTDA presented to the Indian trade and media its plans to enhance its sporting events portfolio and tourism products to leverage the emirate’s natural attributes.
“Ras Al Khaimah boasts a diverse array of natural landscapes that appeal to visitors of every kind, whether it’s beach-lovers, active adventurers or wellness seekers. Through a programme of careful development, we intend to enhance these attractions for the benefit of travellers and offer a compelling tourism product portfolio which preserves the rich local culture and traditions that Ras Al Khaimah is known for,” Mattar explained.
Other product developments in 2017 include the opening of the world’s longest zip line, which was announced last year, an observation deck and luxury mountain camp, as well as the launch of official cycling and hiking routes across the emirate, with a focus on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain peak.