Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority kicks off the new year by becoming the host destination for two main exhibitions, Vakantiebeurs in Netherlands and FESPO in Switzerland. Another exhibition, MATKA, is also on the cards. Raki Phillips, CEO of RAKTDA, speaks to TTME.
Could you share about your participation as host destination at Vakantiebeurs and FESPO?
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority will be exhibiting at Vakantiebeurs, the largest travel trade and consumer fair in Utrecht, Netherlands, for the third consecutive year. In addition to this, 2020 will see the fair celebrate its 50th anniversary, announcing Ras Al Khaimah as the host destination. The prestigious event will welcome the participation of several key stakeholders including Emirates airlines.
FESPO, the largest consumer fair in Switzerland, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020 and Ras Al Khaimah has been appointed as the host destination. The Emirate will exhibit with several hotel partners, inclusive of the Department of Antiquities and Museums and Emirates airlines. RAKTDA will also be exhibiting at MATKA, the largest travel trade and consumer fair in Nordic region, for the third consecutive year. Our participation will include activations highlighting the diverse offerings of the Emirate, including a golf competition spanning the four days of the fair. Al Hamra Cluster Hotels and flydubai will be present as our partners.
It is a testament to be selected as the host destination for events of such a high caliber in their respective markets, as this not only positions Ras Al Khaimah well within the tourism industries in the relevant regions, but also underscores our efforts to further strengthening the destination as a regional M!CE hub.
How important are these events for RAKTDA?
It is important for us to maintain a strong presence at such internationally recognised exhibitions, as we aim to highlight the varied offerings of the Emirate to an international audience. Hosting Vakantiebeurs 2020, is a significant opportunity to augment awareness, as the event brings together tourism authorities, travel agencies and cultural associations from around the world to introduce their travel destinations and tourism products to consumers and fellow trade partners. Taking on the role of the host, allows the Emirate to reinforce our messaging, from the scenic views of the diverse landscapes to the strong M!CE portfolio currently possessed.
The events and their primary audience are a sound fit for Ras Al Khaimah, with its unique combination of authentic Arabian hospitality, pristine beaches and outdoor adventure pursuits, which appeal to holidaymakers from all over Europe. We have seen a significant growth in visitor numbers from Europe over the last couple of years, and therefore, the region continues to be a key focus for our tourism promotion strategy, to attract 1.5 million visitors by 2021.
We are delighted to be the partner country of FESPO 2020 as this offers yet another opportunity to showcase all that Ras Al Khaimah has to offer key international industry leaders and delegates from the travel and hospitality sector. With over 7,000 years of fascinating history and magnificent landscapes, Ras Al Khaimah is the perfect getaway for leisure, business and adventure travellers, which guests to the fair will be able to experience firsthand.
RAKTDA has increased its focus on the Nordic markets, marked by its first appearance at the MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki in January 2018. We further invested in the Nordic markets, through opening a RAKTDA representative office in Nordics in 2018, to welcome more visitors from the Nordic countries.
In which capacity will RAKTDA be participating?
RAKTDA will exhibit with our main hotels and destination activities. Toro Verde, Adventurati, Al Hamra Golf Club and Department of Antiquities and Museums are the main partners, alongside our hotels Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Al Hamra Cluster and Doubletree. Additionally, Emirates airlines and flydubai will also be exhibiting with us.
Will it be the first time to be participating as the host country?
This will be our first time to be the host destination at Vakantiebeurs and FESPO. This without doubt, will provide great visibility among all the visitors. The enhanced presence of Ras Al Khaimah at the fairs will be recognisable throughout the channels, offline and online, before, during and after the fair.
Do share your key objective and expectations at each of these events
Ras Al Khaimah’s objective is to maintain a strong presence in our main source markets and emerging ones. These exhibitions are one of the primary platforms driving increased awareness of Ras Al Khaimah amongst end consumers and developing further collaboration with our trade partners.
We look forward to enhancing our existing partnerships with suppliers and travel specialists across the markets, as well as to forging new relationships with operators within the tourism industry during their visits to Ras Al Khaimah for the fairs. We have so far been well aligned with efforts to reach our destination tourism goals, having witnessed a 5 per cent growth in overall visitor arrivals, with the peak reaching 117,995 visitors in August 2019, and look forward to maintaining the momentum supported by our participation in such events.