How Ras Al Khaimah aims to deliver tourism that's sustainable

New strategy maps out long-term sustainability that will drive overall tourism growth objectives in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced a new strategy that aims to see the nature-based emirate become the regional leader in environmentally conscious tourism by 2025.

The Sustainable Tourism Destination Strategy maps out key steps for the emirate to secure long-term sustainability that will drive overall tourism growth objectives and contribute directly to national and international climate change and environmental policy commitments.

The guiding principles include delivering authentic tourism experiences through preservation and conservation, taking an industry wide focus that provides both economic productivity and sustainable development.

It also seeks to improve the quality of life and well-being of citizens and residents with a community based approach while setting environmental goals based on minimising the industry’s carbon footprint and contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Raki Phillips (pictured below), CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “The far-reaching effects of the pandemic brought into razor focus the need more so than ever to accelerate our environmental tourism agenda. 

“However, instead of focusing only on one area – the environment – we broadened our approach to address all areas of sustainability ranging from cultural preservation, employee mental well-being to industry wide protocols and carbon emission goals.”

He added: “The time is right to signal to industry investors that sustainable considerations need to be top of mind for long term investment and hospitality development in a destination.”

The Sustainable Tourism Destination Strategy follows the authority’s earlier announcement of over 20 new sustainable tourism initiatives across the emirate marking an investment of AED500 million in partnership with RAK Hospitality Holding and RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The new initiative, SelectRAK, provides an array of benefits to investors including long-term residency based on criteria outlined by the government.

Ras Al Khaimah was named the Gulf Tourism Capital for both 2020 and 2021 by the Gulf Cooperation Council and set a global benchmark in becoming the first city in the world to secure the Bureau Veritas Safeguard Label and World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travel Stamp.

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