Top News Ras Al Khaimah steps up India courtship, predicts strong rebound By Rohit Kaul / Posted on 8 April, 2022 14:43 The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah expects to Indian arrivals to return to pre-pandemic levels this year, as healthy demand makes a comeback as soon as travel curbs were eased in India. According to Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which was in New Delhi and Mumbai from April 4 to 7 with destination roadshows, there have been hotel buyouts in Ras Al Khaimah for Indian weddings this year. Rasbey: efforts are underway to improve connectivity from India “India is one of our top five source markets for international tourist arrivals. As a nature-based Emirate, we offer a variety of experiences for different segments, from solo travellers to family groups. We are already noticing a strong demand from wedding and MICE segments. Considering the short flight duration from India, we also promote Ras Al Khaimah as a weekend destination for Indians,” said Iyad Rasbey, executive director, Destination Tourism Development & MICE, RAKTDA, while addressing a press conference in New Delhi earlier this week. As part of its travel trade engagements, RAKTDA brought hospitality representatives from the destination to showcase their leisure, business event and wedding offerings to Indian buyers. Prior to the in-person roadshows, RAKTDA organised a webinar on March 22 for 100 travel partners and business event operators from across India. Ras Al Khaimah recorded 1.1 million international tourist arrivals in 2019, of which about 70,000 were from India. The tourism board is targeting three million international tourist arrivals as part of its 2030 vision. “We will continue to leverage our partnerships with travel agents to promote Ras Al Khaimah as a tourist destination in both metro and non-metro cities in India,” added Rasbey. At present 85 per cent of international tourists to Ras Al Khaimah arrive through Dubai airport. Low-cost carrier SpiceJet is the only airline that operates direct flights between India and Ras Al Khaimah. “We are in talks with another Indian airline to strengthen direct air connectivity with Ras Al Khaimah. We expect these direct flights to be operational in 3Q2022,” said Rasbey. Apart from its nature-based experiences, Ras Al Khaimah will promote new products like Jais Sledder – the region’s longest toboggan ride – to the Indian market. The destination will expand its hotel room inventory with 3,000 more keys over the next two years. It now has 7,720 keys.