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Ras Al Khaimah bids to draw Russian tourists

Staff Report/ras al khaimah
Filed on September 25, 2016
Ras Al Khaimah bids to draw Russian tourists
Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, says Russian tourists have been loyal visitors to the destination for over a decade.

(Supplied photo)

Year-on-year arrival figures show a 4.2 per cent increase in the first eight months of this year

The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) strengthened its presence at this year's Leisure Moscow trade fair amid a bounce-back in Russian visitors to the emirate. Year-on-year arrival figures show a 4.2 per cent increase in the first eight months of this year compared to 2015.

Leisure Moscow is Russia's leading international travel and tourism trade fair. Russia currently ranks as the third key international source market for Ras al Khaimah after Germany and the UK.

"Russian tourists have been loyal visitors to the destination for over a decade and the importance of Russian visitors can be seen by their average length of stay at 8.6 days, and room revenue which, at a growth of 10 per cent over the same period last year, surpasses that of all other nationalities," said Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA.

"Ras Al Khaimah's ability to continue to attract visitors from the Russian market is testament to our compelling value-for-money proposition and offering, as a destination with 64km of beaches, hotels and a range of heritage and adventure attractions."

RAKTDA's pavilion at Leisure Moscow drew support from stakeholders and partners, including Air Arabia, the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, the Hilton Al Hamra Beach and Golf Resort, the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, Rixos Bab Al Bahr and Desert Gate.

During the four-day exhibition, Mattar hosted a panel of travel and tourism commentators to discuss changing trends in Russia's outbound market and how  Ras Al Khaimah is adapting its product portfolio.

"There is still a strong interest and need for year-round value-for-money destinations within a short flight time of Russia. We are working closely with our travel agent and airline partners, such as Qatar Airways, since it began flying to Ras Al Khaimah, Emirates Airline, Air Arabia and Fly Dubai," Mattar added.

RAKTDA has strategic partnerships in place with a number of major tour operators and travel agencies in Russia. Targeting further promotional activities and increased visitor numbers through to the end of 2016, a general sales agency for Russia and CIS was appointed in June 2016.

Ras Al Khaimah is also experiencing increasing interest from across the CIS region, with particular growth from Kazakhstan, which reported a 214.6 per cent rise in visitor numbers between January and August this year compared to the same period in 2015. RAKTDA plans to capitalise on growing Kazakh demand by attending the Kazakhstan International Tourism Fair - one of Central Asia's major tourism platforms - in April next year.

- business@khaleejtimes.com





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