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RAKTDA CEO PARTICIPATES AT UNWTO CLOSING CEREMONY FOR YEAR-LONG CAMPAIGN
Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) spoke on a panel at the closing ceremony of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017 (IY2017): The Way Forward – Our Journey to 2030, held on December 19, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The panel included representatives from the public and private sector and aimed to review the achievements of the year-long campaign in view of its initial objectives and discuss the way forward as the global tourism industry commits to contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
With the IY2017 coming to an end, the event enabled participants to take stock of the main results and highlights together with some of the Year´s main protagonists, such as Special Ambassadors, IY2017 partners and other stakeholders.
Mattar participated in the session which aimed to reflect on the achievements of the the campaign against the three objectives set: Raising awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development; Mobilizing all stakeholders in making the sector a catalyst for positive change; and Fostering change in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour in tourism.
RAKTDA became the official sponsor of the UNWTO International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 with the aim to promote a more sustainable global tourism landscape. As part of its support for the initiative, the authority participated in the dedicated steering committee, sharing best practices and driving development among global tourism peers.
Subsequently, RAKTDA commissioned a UNWTO mission to assess the Ras Al Khaimah’s sustainable tourism credentials and create a roadmap for further projects and initiatives.
The winner of the Travellers´ Competition, Travel Enjoy Respect, developed in the framework of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017 (IY2017), Katie Diederichs, stayed in Ras Al Khaimah earlier this month, as part of an unforgettable trip across six different countries to tell the world how tourism can make a positive change.
Sustainability already underpins the emirate’s Destination 2019 strategy, which aims to attract a million visitors by the end of 2018 to the emirate. The Destination 2019 strategy emphasises social inclusiveness, cultural values, diversity and heritage while taking full account of Ras Al Khaimah’s economic, social and environmental impacts.
Through the UNWTO International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, RAKTDA has laid the foundations for a roadmap that will see tangible outcomes in the area of sustainable tourism products, policies and awareness in the emirate.
“With a clear vision, RAKTDA is transforming its natural gifts into tourism assets to benefit all. In 2017 we sought investment and operation for the creation of three new eco-friendly adventure based projects on the UAE’s highest mountain Jebel Jais – positioning it as the nature adventure hub of the middle east, and complementing the offering of the neighbouring emirates,” commented Mattar.
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