The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has launched a range of support initiatives to its hospitality, leisure and development partners.
The move aims to shelter the sector during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis and to lay strong foundations for a future recovery.
The tourism authority has sent all business partners and stakeholders a comprehensive contingency plan, which maps out short- to mid-term solutions to mitigate the negative impact of coronavirus on travel to Ras Al Khaimah.
Addressing partners and stakeholders via a virtual meeting, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority chief executive, Raki Phillips, highlighted that the hospitality industry was facing a grave threat from the coronavirus crisis.
The UNWTO estimates losses from international visitor spends to be between USD $30-50 billion globally, while the World Travel & Tourism Council have found up to 50 million jobs have been put at risk.
Officials in Ras Al Khaimah have thus created an internal stimulus committee and steering stimulus committee.
Led by Phillips and top executives across the hospitality, leisure and development sectors, specific measures include a six-month waiver of all touristic licenses; waiver of tourism dirhams from March to May; a complete exemption of tourism licensing fees for quarters two and three and tourism licensing fines until September 30th.
This support will be further enhanced by a dedicated financial incentive package aimed towards non-government owned touristic entities, including budget, midscale and four-star hotels as well as attractions, golf courses and other tourism establishments.
In addition to this, hospitality partners will be able to benefit from complimentary participation in a diverse array of exhibitions and roadshows set to take place in 2020 and 2021 within the emirate and abroad.
“Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority fully understands and shares the concerns of its business partners and guests concerning the Covid-19 outbreak, which is significantly disrupting the global travel and tourism industry.
“It is imperative that we are transparent in our communications and work together to find solutions to this very challenging situation,” said Phillips during the virtual meeting.
Its four-step road to recovery places initial focus on the domestic market, followed by the GCC and wider Middle East, to then be extended to Asia and Europe.
Phillips highlighted the return of the Russian market as a key driver to recovery, given its position as largest source destination in 2019.
The conference acknowledged the significance of chartered flights as the backbone in driving footfall to the northern emirate.
In time, he said ‘fit to fly’ travel corridors, are likely to be identified by governments to restart aviation and travel, based on destinations that put in place stringent measure to avoid contamination as well as those that have shown recovery from the crisis.
Ras Al Khaimah has been recognised as the Middle East’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination by voters at the World Travel Awards for the past two years.
For all the latest from Breaking Travel News on the coronavirus pandemic, take a look here.