Of ‘shortcations,’ luxurious, and sustainable tourism: RAK holds the keys

Talking about local weather change and Internet Zero in relation to tourism promotion on the sidelines of the Arabian Journey Market 2023 in Dubai, Al Arabiya English spoke to Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Growth Authority (RAKTDA), on Tuesday.

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“We made a dedication a yr in the past with a purpose to be the primary licensed sustainable vacation spot within the area. And what which means is we partnered with an organization known as the EarthCheck that was globally acknowledged to assist us obtain particular objectives aligned with the Sustainable Growth Targets (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations,” mentioned Phillips.

Within the case of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Growth Authority, they’ve 30 corporations and entities throughout the emirate which have all signed up a pledge so as to have the ability to obtain this. The CEO revealed that “we’re going by way of our certification course of as we communicate, protecting all three parts that make up sustainability — whether or not it’s cultural sustainability, financial sustainability, or environmental sustainability.”

“And the RAKTDA is overseeing this course of with a purpose to make sure that by COP 28 , we have now all the pieces aligned, and that we’re a licensed vacation spot. Our focus is now very a lot aligned with that.”

Major journey developments, uptick in figures

Jais Sledder. (Provided)

Mountain biking. (Supplied)

Mountain biking. (Provided)

For Ras Al Khaimah, the CIS market continues to be a giant market. “Germany, UK, India, Kazakhstan — our markets have been capable of drive progress. However we’ve additionally been very targeted on new markets, just like the GCC. Poland and the Czech Republic are markets which have grown considerably over the previous couple of years. And so for us. that’s our precedence.”

Manar Mall Promenade. (Supplied)

Manar Mall Promenade. (Provided)

When speaking in regards to the rising quantity digital nomads, RAKTDA CEO credit the UAE’s visa coverage which he mentioned has additionally helped undoubtedly. “I believe the UAE is seen as a progressive nation that could be very enterprise pleasant, that’s secure, and really targeted on investor returns. I do not suppose you possibly can discover a higher vacation spot globally that has eased up the visa restrictions, permitting visa upon arrival and so on.”

He cited the instance nearer to residence of the Ras Al Khaimah Financial Zone (RAKEZ) “the place you may arrange an organization in a really fast time frame. RAKEZ has performed” phenomenally nicely and it is attracted lots of people.”

Speaking about different massive markets, Phillips mentioned: “India is a giant focus of ours since it’s a massive market and that quantity is constantly rising, and proximity could be very shut. Indian weddings are enormous affairs. We now have seen a giant curiosity, other than the large potential of the MICE sector. You do discover a number of Indians that want to trip throughout summer season, or what they love to do is that they like to mix it with different locations. So that they could possibly be flying to RAK after which connecting to different locations. And we have additionally, you recognize, been targeted on air elevate coming in from India and labored with a number of airways to have the ability to obtain that.”

“Once you even simply consider the variety of Indians who maintain passports, it is a very small quantity, however we all know that that quantity is constantly rising. So for us, India is a key focus.”

Profitable quick stays marketing campaign

For these hooked to mountain climbing up Jebel Jais, he mentioned “we have had large enhancements on our mountain climbing trails, and we have now a brand new highway that cuts by way of the mountain, which has diminished the drive time up the mountain considerably.”

And what have been the opposite learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic and slowdown? The CEO of RAKTDA mentioned what they discovered was, should you make calculated sensible choices, you may see a a lot sooner restoration and a extra optimistic influence. “So when the pandemic hit, we had a stimulus bundle that we launched for all of our non-government owned companies in tourism and hospitality, that helped actually drive up enterprise. We pivoted and targeted on the home market, the place pre-pandemic home market was lower than 40 % of our general enterprise. In the course of the pandemic, we doubled the variety of guests and continues nonetheless immediately to be considered one of our massive focuses.”

Aiming for five mln guests by 2030

Al Rams - Suwaidi Pearl farm. (Supplied)

Al Rams – Suwaidi Pearl farm. (Provided)

“So I am fairly optimistic that we’re on the observe to have the ability to get to 1.2 million vacationers by the tip of the yr. And by the tip of the last decade, you recognize, we’re now finding out what that remaining quantity can be. However I believe by the tip of the last decade, we may simply be over 5 million vacationers.”

Waldorf Astoria Beach. (Supplied)

Waldorf Astoria Seaside. (Provided)

Phillips mentioned the opposite factor that “we’re targeted on was accessible journey. We all know that could be a $8 billion a yr enterprise globally. To make the vacation spot extra accessible to individuals with particular wants — you recognize, being extra inclusive.”

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