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The RAK Tourism growth story

Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism revenue rose 12.4 per cent last year over 2014, the highest increase in five years according to Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

The growth in revenue was driven by a six per cent year-on-year increase in the number of visitors to 740,383 last year.

Hotel occupancy in the emirate grew 9.7 per cent to 64.7 per cent in 2015. Average daily rate and food and beverage revenues rose 7 per cent and 14.4 per cent respectively during the same period.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR — an industry measure of occupancy and rates) increased 10 per cent year-on-year to Dh355.93 last year, while hotel room revenue was up 12.1 per cent.

The United Kingdom and India were the fastest growing source markets for the emirate, as visitor numbers from the two markets rose 24.7 per cent and 80 per cent in 2015.

Domestic tourism also grew,  and accounted for 47.7 per cent of total visitor numbers to Ras Al Khaimah last year.

“In 2016, we will further enhance our efforts to steadily diversify our visitor demographic, and focus heavily on showcasing Ras Al Khaimah’s global appeal through strategic partnerships with leading industry stakeholders and targeted in-market promotional activity,” stated Haitham Mattar, chief executive of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

“As the emirate continues its expansion plans to meet ambitious growth targets, we are broadening our rich offering through developing retail, dining, cruise, entertainment, and MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] facilities, to further build Ras Al Khaimah’s position as a leading destination for business and leisure travel,” Mattar added.

India continues to grow as a key source market for Ras Al Khaimah, contributing significantly to its goal of achieving one million visitors by the end of 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority visited India on 11th January to attend two key travel trade events. The objective of the events was predominantly to introduce Ras Al Khaimah to the Indian market and discuss the emirate’s unique offerings for the Indian travellers, simultaneously expanding and growing relationships with key travel representatives. Ras Al Khaimah benefits from India’s inbound tourism, primarily within the wedding sector and through short-stay tourists. A number of strategies were discussed at the events, including the set up of a representation office in Delhi and Mumbai, and developing more promotional materials with Indian travellers in mind.

Speaking at the events held at New Delhi, Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said, “India is one of our largest inbound growth markets – we have seen an incredible 80 per cent year-on-year growth in tourists from the sub-continent. There is great potential to increase these numbers even further, and this is the single biggest factor which spurs us on to further promote the emirate in India.

Ras Al Khaimah is growing as a tourist destination, and India is currently the fourth largest inbound market for the emirate, after Germany, Russia and the UK. In 2016 and beyond, the emirate’s Tourism Development Authority will be placing an increasing focus on attracting Indian travellers through strategically planned content, relevant tourism products and services, focused marketing and communications efforts, events and tailored  hotel products.

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