RAK rakes in interest from trade

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) held a roadshow in Mumbai recently which saw more than 100 travel agents and tour operators come together to meet 17 sellers including DMCs, airlines, hotels and attractions. Here’s what the attendees had to say and how the roadshow has helped them gain insight on the destination.

HAZEL JAIN

Nagsri Prasad Sashidhar, Senior Consultant-Leisure, Mercury Travels, India Travel Awards Winner

Ras Al Khaimah is an upcoming destination and we promote new destinations to our clients. The good thing about this roadshow is that they have a good number of suppliers. Overall, Ras Al Khaimah is picking up as a destination for Indian travellers as it’s quite accessible and more so because it is new. It is good to see more and more hoteliers come down for the roadshow. It’s only a matter of time before RAK picks up and gives other destinations a run for their money. We foresee growth in couple travellers and weddings in Ras Al Khaimah.

Karan Anand, Head-Relationships Cox & Kings, India Travel Awards Winner

We are glad to have partnered with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority. Since it is a part of the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah is two and a half hours away from most of the cities in India. This geographical proximity also helps travellers enjoy another emirate. What particularly is of interest to us is seasonality when it comes to the shoulder season. We can generate extra demand from India as the emirate boasts of world-class facilities and resorts. We strongly believe that India at some point will be in the top three source markets for Ras Al Khaimah. It has the potential to appeal to all segments of travellers in India

Gaurav Seth, Vice President-Leisure Travel (Outbound), Thomas Cook (India)

Through this roadshow, we got a lot of new ideas to sell the destination. I didn’t know that Ras Al Khaimah has a lot of potential in terms of adventure and beaches. It is a wholesome destination and the roadshow makes it easier for us to promote it. FITs and MICE will grow in Ras Al Khaimah along with the wedding segment. The difference between Dubai and RAK is that while Dubai is more about glamour, RAK is about peace and serenity. The destination has good connectivity to India and with the UAE visa becoming easier, the destination has an edge. We have long-term plans for RAK as most people are looking for something new.

Mehernosh Colombowalla, Director, Beyond Borders Travel Management

Ras Al Khaimah is a good destination and it is just 40 minutes away from Dubai. There are a number of resorts there with different price categories. We just concluded a big group in Ras Al Khaimah. The destination has huge potential for MICE as it has spacious hotels. One can spend three nights there and explore the entire property. We see MICE traffic from India moving to Ras Al Khaimah as compared to Dubai as a lot of people have already experienced that destination. Ras Al Khaimah has a freshness to it, so most travellers looking at visiting UAE now have the option of looking beyond Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Vyoma Bhatt, Managing Partner, Aspen Vacations

The roadshow was great with good number of quality suppliers. Ras Al Khaimah as a destination is suitable for families as the connectivity is good. It is an upcoming destination for Indians as not many people are aware of it. It has a lot of versatility to offer like a beach resort experience where you are away from the hustle and bustle of cities like Dubai or Abu Dhabi. One can simply go there and be cut off from the daily routine. We have also taken some FITs to RAK in the past and we have a couple of ongoing queries as we are pushing it for Diwali holidays since people prefer short-haul destinations.

Rajinder Singh, Director, The Wanderers

Last year we had some corporate groups visiting RAK. What I like about it is it’s not another Dubai. Ras Al Khaimah is charming with no highrises, it has a lot of open spaces and top-class hotels. It has good attractions and with the addition of new activities like zip-lining, it will attract more people. They also have a new cruise ship coming in with a capacity of 300 pax. We had done a team building activity on a beach there. If the activity increases we could have people staying there for more number of nights. We need to have more roadshows and activities in Mumbai to rake in more numbers.

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