Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and plans, initiates and drives its domestic and overseas promotions, has reported exceptional growth in Indian travellers to the emirate this year.
The northern UAE emirate recorded a 22 per cent rise in Indian hotel guests between January and September of this year when compared to the same nine-month period in 2015. During September visitors from India increased by 61 per cent against the same month last year. With India ranked as the emirate’s fourth largest international source market, RAKTDA has overseen extensive trade and promotional activities to ensure continued growth from the Sub-continent.
“Ras Al Khaimah is perfectly positioned to attract more visitors from India, and is only 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport. The destination boasts unique natural landscapes including 64km pristine beaches, desert, mountains, and adventure, together with world class hotels in a safe environment – we have everything that the outbound Indian market looks for in a destination,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA.
As part of its strategy to seize new opportunities and further nuture Indian arrivals, RAKTDA hosted pre- and post- familiarisation trips to coincide with the Travel Agents Association of India’s (TAAI) 63rd Annual Convention & Exhibition held in Abu Dhabi, where Mattar participated on a panel focusing on key travel trends affecting the Indian outbound market.
A total of 72 of India’s leading travel agents, ranging from first-timers to repeat visitors, were hosted on a bespoke itinerary designed to highlight the range of luxurious properties such as Marjan Island Resort & Spa, Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Resort and Spa Marjan Island, and Hilton Al Hamra Beach and Golf Resort.
Conceived to provide agents with first-hand experience of the emirate and develop knowledge of the destination’s diverse tourism products, the itinerary included a luxurious BBQ dinner at Bedoiun Oasis Desert Camp.
Recent activities follow a major promotional push in India earlier this year. RAKTDA participated in July's MICE India and Luxury Travel Congress in Mumbai and the India Travel Wedding Show in Gurgaon during the same month to round-off a series of roadshows and familiarisation trips conducted with Indian travel trade partners in the first half of the year.
“In the last 12 months we have signed multiple new strategic marketing partnerships with major tour operators and airlines. This activity is bearing fruit as we see increasing visitor numbers from all of our core markets, as well as new emerging markets,” said Mattar.
The international promotional push follows the launch of Ras Al Khaimah’s first tourism strategy – Vision 2019 – earlier this year. With a target of attracting one million visitors by the end of 2018, the emirate’s refreshed brand and award-winning destination video are based on three pillars: Arabian heritage, adventure and activity, and luxury indulgence.