Visitor numbers to Rak Al Khaimah rose four per cent in 2019, reaching 1.12 million, according to a report issued by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.
Revenue from available rooms (RevPAR) witnessed a strong increase, reaching $114.90, one of the highest in the region, highlighting the emirate’s strong annual occupancy rates averaging 74 per cent.
The increase in the number of visitors last year was due to a range of activities launched by the emirate, including the Jebel Jais Zip-line, the “Ras Al Khaimah Festival of Visual Arts,” the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, the Tough Mudder UAE and the UAE Tour.
The authority organised 122 orientation tours, participated in 20 tourism exhibitions, and conducted 34 promotional trips in 16 countries to establish its presence. It also organised 63 workshops in 12 countries, including the UK, Germany, Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Scandinavia, and other countries in central and Eastern Europe.
The authority also revealed a remarkable growth in the number of visitors, with those coming from Russia, India and Kazakhstan increasing by 13 per cent, 10.5 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, compared to 2018. This trend was reflected in other markets, for example, the number of visitors from Poland increased by 14 per cent.
Raki Phillips, CEO of the authority, said that the emirate achieved positive results in 2019, witnessing an increase of nearly 4 per cent in terms of the number of visitors from key markets, adding that the implementation of the three-year strategy, titled, “Destination Ras Al Khaimah 2019,” which aims to attract a wider segment of tourists and visitors, also focusses on visitors with high-added value, such as those who attend events, conferences and exhibitions.
In 2020, many important commercial events will be launched, highlighting the offers that Ras Al Khaimah provides to travel and hospitality industry leaders from around the world, including at the “International Vacations Exhibition 2020,” the largest travel fair held in the Netherlands.
The authority’s agenda this year also features many events. It will participate for the first time in the International Exhibition of Incentives, Meetings and Events, IBTM, held in Barcelona in November, and the International Tourism Exchange Exhibition, ITB, in Berlin, as well the IMIX exhibition in Frankfurt, the largest event for incentive tourism, meetings and events in Germany held from May 12 to 14.
2019 also saw Ras Al Khaimah announced as the Gulf Tourism Capital. To support ongoing trade and PR marketing activities this year, the Gulf Tourism Capital logo was revealed during the recent Jais Adventure Peak opening. Inspired by the emirate’s diverse suite of offerings, the logo will be used extensively to spearhead RAKTDA’s promotional efforts throughout the GCC. Ras Al Khaimah’s selection as the Capital of Gulf Tourism highlights the country’s leading stature as a popular tourism destination, noting the consistent growth of international visitor numbers in previous years.
RAKTDA is targeting 1.5 million visitors by 2021, supporting which the emirate has identified the supply of new hotel rooms as a primary focus moving forward. The emirate is preparing to add 6,200 rooms to the 6,499 currently available with the confirmed introduction of major global brands including Marriott, Movenpick, Sheraton, Anantara, Rezidor, Intercontinental and Conrad over the next three years.