Famed as one of the region’s most diverse and unspoilt landscapes, with a history stretching back more than 7,000 years, Ras Al Khaimah has recently been thrusted into the international spotlight for its ability to appeal to all types of holidaymakers, offering a balanced blend of beach, city, mountains and desert.
Since its establishment in 2011, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has played a highly active role in promoting the emirate as a leading tourism destination, as part of its inaugural tourism strategy, Vision 2019.
Commending RAKTDA’s significant role in luring in visitors, Mahmoud Mokhtar, country manager, Ras Al Khaimah, Hilton Worldwide, noted, “[...] The well-coordinated, award-winning videos and campaigns [that] they have launched in key source markets has whetted the appetite for the destination.”
BREAKING NEW GROUND
It is safe to say that RAKTDA’s exhaustive marketing efforts have paid off.
Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA enthused, “ has recorded continual growth for visitors to Ras Al Khaimah, edging closer to our target of one million visitors by the end of 2018.”
In the first 11 months of 2016, properties in Ras Al Khaimah welcomed a 10 percent surge in overnight stays, elaborated Mattar.
“The same period also saw average hotel occupancies reach 71.5 percent, marking an 11.4 percent [year-on-year] growth.”
Although not immune to seasonality, Mattar added that the success of 2016 is largely attributed to the unusually prosperous summer period, when, between June – August 2016, there was a 15.9 percent boost in occupancy rate compared to 2015, a surprising result in the traditionally low season.
“2016 has proved to be an interesting year with rapid growth,” corroborated Mokhtar, adding that there has been an increase in room nights across Hilton Hotels & Resorts addresses in the emirate as well as a jump in RevPAR over 2015.
Along with depicting a steady growth in both rate and occupancy, Andreas Mueller, general manager, The Cove Rotana Resort Ras Al Khaimah, discussed how the market has evolved, noting, “We had solid business throughout the year and [have] seen a change in booking patterns towards last minute, in both the free independent traveller and tour operator segment.”