Breaking Journey Information interview: Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Improvement Authority | Focus

As Ras al Khaimah prepares to host the World Journey & Tourism Council Center East & North Africa Leaders Discussion board, Breaking Journey Information speaks with Raki Phillips, newly appointed chief govt of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Improvement Authority.

He tells us about his ambitions for the occasion, what it’ll imply to tourism in essentially the most northerly of the United Arab Emirates and the way necessary the MICE sector might be shifting ahead.

Breaking Journey Information: Ras al Khaimah is getting ready to host the World Journey & Tourism Council Center East & North Africa Leaders Discussion board 2019 – what’s on the agenda for the occasion?

Raki Phillips: We’re honoured to be the primary to host the inaugural version of the WTTC Center East Leaders Discussion board at Ras Al Khaimah.

The discussion board is bringing collectively authorities businesses, trade associations, chief executives and senior leaders of the highest journey and tourism firms, trade consultants, and media from throughout the Center East to debate up to date points going through the sector and to determine progress alternatives for advancing the regional agenda.

With the assistance of world-class audio system and key trade stakeholders, the one-day discussion board goes to host keynotes and panel discussions on necessary themes, together with: sector challenges and funding alternatives; the necessity for talent growth and job creation; sustainable growth with local weather motion; and digital disruption.

BTN: How does the hospitality sector in Ras al Khaimah profit from internet hosting prestigious occasions comparable to this?

RP: The Ras Al Khaimah hospitality market continues to develop from energy to energy because of the notable rise within the variety of worldwide and home guests, and commendable lodge efficiency throughout many metrics, over the previous few years.

Round 80 per cent of our general five-star lodge stock is luxurious.

Ras Al Khaimah is basically a leisure vacation spot, attracting energetic adventurers, cultural explorers, and luxurious and wellness seekers from all over the world.

Nevertheless, as one of the crucial various locations within the area with its high-profile journey sights, pure landscapes, and cultural property, Ras Al Khaimah has additionally begun to attract curiosity from company travellers from across the area and past in recent times.

As we proceed to see a gradual rise within the variety of company travellers within the emirate, we’re strengthening our MICE profile additional on the worldwide stage by internet hosting occasions such because the World Journey & Tourism Council Center East & North Africa Leaders Discussion board, Arabian Lodge Funding Convention and the Belgian Journey Summit.

We’re very dedicated to supporting our motels – roping them in for our built-in seasonal campaigns, commerce roadshows and MICE enterprise alternatives – to additionally assist drive their company bookings all year long.

BTN: Is that this a part of a wider push into MICE tourism for Ras al Khaimah? You welcomed the opening of the Al Hamra Worldwide Exhibition & Convention Centre earlier this yr to facilitate this market, for instance.

RP: From pristine seashores and expansive deserts, to majestic mountains and historic forts, Ras Al Khaimah gives an distinctive backdrop for all types of occasions within the MICE tourism sector.

Whereas Ras Al Khaimah continues to construct resounding credentials inside the area’s MICE sector, the emirate has already attracted many key conferences and occasions over the previous couple of years, comparable to Arabian Lodge Funding Convention, Affiliation of Unbiased Tour Operators Annual Convention and Belgian Journey Summit, with upcoming occasions such because the PATA Annual Summit 2020 already marked on calendars. 

Solely a 45-minute drive from the Dubai Worldwide Airport, Ras Al Khaimah is a boutique MICE vacation spot with a extremely aggressive stock of amenities together with, five-star motels and resorts, two 18-hole golf programs and the area’s first of its sort conference centre, Al Hamra Worldwide Exhibition & Convention Centre which spans a complete space of 4,500 metres squared whereas boasting spectacular Arabesque interiors and expansive ocean views.

Al Hamra Worldwide Exhibition & Convention Centre is a formidable architectural milestone which proves our need to additional elevate our MICE providing.

The resplendent interiors improve the heat exuded by the foyer lounges, whereas using up to date supplies add to the visible enchantment, paying homage to the native tradition by means of the incorporation of components of Arabic design.

Whereas Ras Al Khaimah plans to host extra occasions, conferences and incentives teams by means of occasion organisers and MICE planners, the emirate additionally goals to introduce its genuine Arabian tradition and heritage to its commercially inclined guests, encouraging them to discover historic websites, work together with native communities, and expertise wealthy customs, traditions and delicacies.

As we purpose to grow to be a MICE vacation spot of alternative within the Center East, we’ll proceed amplifying our vacation spot consciousness even additional, reinforcing current relationships with key companions, and securing new wins starting from high-level incentives to international conferences. 

BTN: You personally stepped into lead the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Improvement Authority earlier this yr. How have you ever discovered the position to this point and what are your expectations shifting ahead?

RP: The previous few months have been nice, and I’ve been loving it up to now!

Ras Al Khaimah is, undoubtedly, a various tourism vacation spot within the area, because of its distinctive portfolio of nature-adventure property which permits it to compete with high worldwide locations.

Underneath the smart management of sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, supreme council member and ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the emirate has a promising future and I’m very excited to play an element in direction of fulfilling his imaginative and prescient.

And I’m very assured that as a precedence sector, tourism within the emirate is destined for exponential progress.

Tourism is without doubt one of the key drivers of Ras Al Khaimah’s continued progress in GDP and employment.

Realizing that the RAKTDA is taking part in an enormous position in facilitating this very progress, I’m excited to see how we unfold our formidable, strategic priorities for the long run.

Guided by our Vacation spot Technique 2019-2021, we stay targeted on diversifying the emirate’s tourism providing to draw a wider phase of vacationers and higher-yield guests in search of distinctive journey experiences.

We additionally stay targeted on attracting overseas and native funding inside the tourism sector; nurturing home-grown small- and medium sized-enterprises to create additional employment and enterprise alternatives for Emiratis whereas prioritising sustainable nature-based journey and genuine cultural experiences.

BTN: You have got seen some early success, with Ras Al Khaimah seeing report customer numbers in August. How a lot additional can tourism within the emirate develop?

RP: We’ve got seen a report variety of guests with nearly 118,000 arrivals throughout the month of August 2019 alone, which contributed to a 5 per cent progress in general customer arrivals year-to-date.

Our reviews additionally revealed an 8.Four per cent improve in home customer arrivals which mirror an increase within the emirate’s reputation as a most popular staycation vacation spot amongst UAE residents. 

Earlier this yr, we revealed a bunch of enticing summer season gives as a part of the emirate’s ongoing vacation spot advertising and marketing marketing campaign – Children go Free – which highlights the hidden gems, various sights and adventures on supply throughout the Emirate.

We consider that these efforts performed an important position in rising the variety of guests throughout the summer season interval, particularly with such an enormous number of lodging choices providing unbeatable offers for households in addition to important reductions on a number of the emirate’s key journey sights together with the Jebel Jais Flight: the world’s longest zipline.

We simply introduced the launch of Jebel Jais Zipline Tour, which can be part of and complement the present sights at Jebel Jais, together with the Jebel Jais By way of Ferrata (mountaineering) and the Jebel Jais Flight.

These new product launches are consistent with the Emirate’s Vacation spot Technique 2019-2021, which requires us to create compelling choices, whereas combining the Emirate’s key guarantees: pristine seashores; pure magnificence, together with the nation’s highest mountain peak – Jebel Jais – the place temperatures are round ten levels decrease than sea stage; cultural heritage; excellence in hospitality and unrivalled experiences as a way to appeal to near 1.5 million guests by 2021, and three million guests by 2025.

Extra Info

Ras Al Khaimah is the northernmost of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.

It’s recognized for its wealthy historical past, relationship again 7,000 years, and various panorama, together with 64 kilometres of pristine seashores, terracotta deserts and imposing mountain backdrops.

To be taught extra about Ras Al Khaimah, go to the official web site.

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