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October sees surge in key overseas visitor indices
Ras Al Khaimah has notched up a new record for international visitor arrivals, with the first 10 months of this year seeing the emirate register a 12 per cent surge in overseas guests, compared to the same period last year.
The emirate, which has been diversifying its tourism product into the adventure activity sector – leaving the destination within striking distance of its 900,000 target for this year.
“International arrivals are showing the strongest growth with the emerging markets of the Czech Republic, Poland, India and Kazakhstan greatly contributing to this healthy performance,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops and regulates the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions is making the most of the emirate’s natural assets.
“These new source markets are contributing to continuing strong results from Germany and the UK and a much welcome bounce-back in the number of Russians choosing to vacation in the emirate.”
Ras Al Khaimah has witnessed increases across all key growth indicators in October. Hotel occupancy edged up by a percentage to 69 per cent, guest nights climbed 14 per cent, while the average length of stay rose 8.89 per cent to 3.3 days.
“We are now receiving more guests than ever, they are staying longer than ever and spending more, which is a direct result of product diversification and an uplift in our events calendar,” added Mattar.
International guests are proving to be the longest stayers, delivering a 17.57 per cent rise in the international families segment so far this year, and are now staying, on average, 4.87 nights.
While the domestic market is proving a mainstay for the emirate’s rapidly expanding tourism sector, international arrivals are showing encouraging growth. The first 10 months of this year saw a 65.25 per cent year-on-year increase in Russian visitors, while 17.28 per cent more British visitors holidayed in the emirate. The Indian market has produced a 19.23 per cent lift in arrivals, while Czech visitors climbed by 62.43 per cent, the number of Polish visitors trebled, there was a 22.49 per cent increase in the number of Slovaks opting to vacation in Ras Al Khaimah, while arrivals from Saudi Arabia also increased, this time by 5.97 per cent.
“We are now very well placed for meeting our 2017 visitor target and with the imminent launch of the world’s longest zip line in the Hajar Mountains around the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais, we envisage a corresponding rise in the number of adventure tourist arrivals,” said Mattar.
“This new product will also help in further lifting the local, regional and international profile of the destination as we have already received strong media interest, from both at home and overseas, in the product.
“We also envisage strong year-end performance with the emirate having rolled out a powerful programme of national day celebrations which are based around, and will demonstrate, the emirate’s strong commitment to heritage and tradition. Ras Al Khaimah’s authenticity as a destination where visitors can truly engage with the local culture and its stunning natural assets is now resonating strongly with diverse tourism markets, including millennials, family travellers and the discerning silver tourism sector.”
RAKTDA is looking to reach one million tourist arrivals by the end of 2018 and is gearing up for a raft of new hotel and resort openings planned to meet increasing demand. An additional 4,445 hotel and resort rooms are expected to come on line in the emirate over the next three years, ranging from 3 to 5-star properties.
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