OTOAI fillip to Ras Al Khaimah tourism
In a bid to open new avenues for the outbound tourism industry in India, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) conducted its third annual convention in Ras Al Khaimah from September 13-16, 2017, to showcase the new destination and deliberat
The 3rd OTOAI Convention was attended by over 170 delegates from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Gujarat. The event was inaugurated by Shaji Thomas, DirectorDestination Tourism Development, Ras Al Khaimah; Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI; Riaz Munshi, Convention Chairman and Vice President, OTOAI; Mohamed Khater,
Senior Tourism Development Manager, Government of Ras Al Khaimah; Gurdeep
Gujral, Convention Co-chairman and Joint Secretary, OTOAI; SanJeet, India Representative, Ras Al Khaimah, and
Mahendra Vakharia, Chairman-Western Chapter, OTOAI.
Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), commented, “India is currently our fourth largest international source market with year-onyear growth of 22 per cent in the first half of 2017. It will be an important contributor to our vision and Destination 2019 tourism strategy. We have seen a growing trend from Indian inbound tourism for short leisure stays, MICE, and weddings. 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 MICE and trade events, tourism from India will continue to develop in the coming years.”
Sahni said, “RAKTDA has put its best foot forward to showcase the products to our members. We can’t thank them
enough for the arrangements they have done to give everyone a first-hand experience from the destination. Our intention was to create opportunities for the future and we will work with the members to implement the knowledge we have gathered during the Convention.”
The association deliberated on topics like technology
as the game changer and how it can be made accessible to every tour operator and travel agent; how travel agents should find their strengths and develop a niche in the market; improve the level of service they provide to their customers; train frontline staff; digital marketing and mobile technology and the importance and pressing demand to educate the trade from Tier-II
and III markets amongst various other issues.
Munshi further elaborated that there are many verticals of travel that have been untouched by assisted players of the industry like weddings, events, MICE, etc., where new players are entering the market and the old players have to revamp their functioning in
order to increase their revenue streams. “A convention is a win-win situation both for the destination as well as the members. We strive to host our conventions at destinations which need more tourist numbers from India and in return, our members have been able to experience a new destination to add their product portfolio,” said Munshi.
&KLHI ([HFXWLYH 2IÀFHU 5DV $O .KDLPDK Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA)
Guldeep Singh Sahni India Travel Award winner and President, OTOAI