RAK tar­gets 1 mn tourists by 2018

Ras Al Khaimah is tar­get­ing 1 mil­lion tourists by the end of 2018, re­vealed Haitham Mat­tar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (RAKTDA) on his re­cent visit to In­dia.

TravTalk - Middle East - - NTO - NISHA VERMA

Ras Al Khaimah re­cently or­gan­ised road­shows in Delhi and Mum­bai, In­dia to meet and in­ter­act with travel trade in the coun­try. Haitham Mat­tar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (RAKTDA) while speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence in New Delhi, re­vealed that In­dia is a prom­i­nent mar­ket for them and they are ex­pect­ing huge growth from the coun­try.

“We have seen about 35 per cent growth in the first quar­ter of the year from the Indian mar­ket, and in­ter­est­ingly we have seen a 10 per cent growth in the length of the stay from In­di­ans, which means that Indian trav­ellers are find­ing more things to do in Ras Al Khaimah. Our tar­get is to keep the trav­ellers for more days and en­joy the des­ti­na­tion. We are aim­ing to get 1 mil­lion vis­i­tors to Ras Al Khaimah by the end of 2018,” Mat­tar said.

In or­der to achieve that, they are de­vel­op­ing new tourism prod­ucts. “Ras Al Khaimah is a hid­den gem and is very dif­fer­ent from Dubai and its neigh­bour­ing emi­rates. We are more about nat­u­ral as­sets and ad­ven­ture. One can hike and zi­pline in the moun­tains, dive in the sea and can also do a desert sa­fari, all in the same day. We also have five shop­ping malls and we are lo­cated only 45 min­utes from Dubai. The big­gest ad­van­tage is that RAK of­fers value for money, es­pe­cially for fam­i­lies. 72 per cent of our busi­ness comes from fam­i­lies. We have beach front re­sorts, which are 5-star prod­ucts un­der 4-star brands and pric­ing. We are a grow­ing mar­ket for In­dia, in terms of wed­dings as well. We have seen a growth of this seg­ment from In­dia into the des­ti­na­tion with high pro­file wed­dings, where 300-450 peo­ple fly in from In­dia to RAK. An­other area we are fo­cus­ing on is MICE. We also have beach con­certs for young mil­len­ni­als,” he in­formed

In­dia is the fourth largest source mar­ket for RAK right now, while Ger­many is the first. Mat­tar re­alises the dif­fer­ence and says that their strat­egy is to put RAK in the itin­er­ar­ies of In­di­ans trav­el­ling to Dubai. “The num­ber of Indian trav­ellers com­ing to Dubai is 1.6 mil­lion, and those com­ing to RAK is 37,000. We have seen a great ap­petite from Indian trav­ellers for com­bi­na­tion trips like Dubai-RAK or Abu Dhabi-RAK. For us, it’s a huge growth po­ten­tial, be­cause if we get even a small seg­ment of those com­ing to Dubai, In­dia would al­ready be our big­gest source mar­ket,” he re­vealed.

Mat­tar also signed an MOU with Guldeep Singh Sahni, Pres­i­dent, Out­bound Tour Op­er­a­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia (OTOAI), for host­ing OTOAI con­ven­tion in Ras Al Khaimah, ten­ta­tively from Septem­ber 12-14 in the emi­rate. More de­tails about the con­ven­tion will be re­vealed soon.

We are a grow­ing mar­ket for In­dia, in terms of wed­dings as well. An­other area we are fo­cussing on is MICE. We also have beach con­certs for young mil­len­ni­als Haitham Mat­tar CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (RAKTDA)

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