RAS AL KHAIMAH, UAE, 31ST MAY 2015: 400 of the UK’s leading travel and tourism heavyweights today fly into Ras Al Khaimah for the annual Institute of Travel & Tourism (ITT) conference held at the Waldorf Astoria. For three days from 1st to 3rd June, global airlines, tourism bodies, and hotel companies will experience the very best of what Ras Al Khaimah can offer as a world beating holiday destination. Delegates will also undertake a tour of the historical and archaeological sites Ras Al Khaimah has to offer
Commenting on the decision to host the ITT annual conference in Ras Al Khaimah, Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said:
“Hosting the ITT annual conference is a real coup for the Emirate and is a credit to the strong and visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras al Khaimah.
“Whilst our size could be described as boutique, the ambition for the Emirate should not be underestimated. With a captive audience of industry heavyweights from one of our most important source markets, we are putting on a real show. Delegates will receive a first-hand look at the Al Marjan Islands development which will be home to twenty hotels upon completion, in addition to all of the amenities of the Al Hamra development, a centrepiece for residential, hotels, shopping and golf.
“Ras Al Khaimah is a cherished destination for family holidays and this provides a strong platform from which to diversify our consumer portfolio as we generate more interest from millennial consumers and luxury travellers.”
AMBITIOUS TARGETS SPUR GROWTH PLANS
In a clear statement of intent for the travel industry, Ras Al Khaimah’s Tourism Development Authority (RAK TDA), set out its growth targets for the Emirate.
In order to support its goal of 1 million tourists by 2018 its hotel development pipeline will add 2,000 hotel rooms over the next two and a half years, with the Emirate in discussion with a number of hotel investors.
Ras Al Khaimah’s flagship Al Marjan Island development, a 4 km2 archipelago, is the focus of much of the new development. Already boasting completed infrastructure and 5 hotels hosting 100,000 guests during the course of 2014, the four islands will cater to multiple audiences as they will each be dedicated to luxury, celebrations, lifestyle and families.
As a complement to this development, Ras Al Khaimah is proactively targeting the families, couples and millennial markets. Using a scientific approach to guest marketing, Ras Al Khaimah’s TDA is commissioning a strategic study into digital natives, a demographic with increasing discretionary spend and adventurous tastes.
Ras Al Khaimah offers tourists the opportunities to benefit from a truly authentic experience that reaches beyond its internationally acclaimed hotels and resorts. The Hajar Mountains offer some of the region’s most breath taking views in addition to catering to those who want climbing, hiking and mountain biking excursions.
Commenting, Haitham Mattar added:
“We have been looking at our growth plans for some time, but with the region’s current growth, we are now set to capitalise on that expansion. This has really driven us into top gear as we seek to attract a million guests by 2018. With a significant hotel pipeline, supported by our recently signed deal with Qatar Airways we are truly on track to be a major force on the region’s tourism map.
“In addition to Qatar Airways we are in discussions with Royal Brunei Airlines to support the marketing of Ras Al Khaimah out of the UK which will only serve to add to our numbers. We want our offering to be inclusive, but we do not want to lose sight of our boutique offering. That is to say we want to focus on unique guest experiences that ensure a long lasting memory and repeat visits for many years to come.”