Tourism Authority and major German tour operator announce new deal on day one of Arab Aviation Summit, paving the way for twice-weekly direct flights linking Ras Al Khaimah and Germany
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Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, 16 March 2023: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and the FTI GROUP one of Europe’s leading outbound tour operators, have struck a new agreement that paves the way for the launch of twice-weekly flights from Munich to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport in the fourth quarter of this year.
The agreement, which was signed by Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Ralph Schiller, CEO of the FTI GROUP ranked among the headline announcements on day one of the Arab Aviation Summit, which is currently being staged at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre in Ras Al Khaimah. It will significantly expand air connectivity between Ras Al Khaimah and Germany, one of the emirate’s top five visitor source markets for many years.
Germany ranks among the global tourism industry’s most important outbound source markets and is projected to account for almost 118 million travellers annually by 2024, according to a recent report published by GlobalData.
“This agreement with the FTI GROUP marks a major milestone in Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism development strategy, as we look to drive inbound traffic from Germany, which counts among our fastest-growing visitor source markets,” commented Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.
“In 2022, we’ve experienced 81% growth in German visitors to Ras Al Khaimah compared to the previous year, and the addition of twice-weekly direct flights from Munich, one of the country’s most important aviation hubs, should see this number grow substantially. In fact, our robust relationships with all leading trade partners in Germany will all play a key role in reaching our target of 3 million visitors annually by 2030, while boosting tourism’s GDP contribution from 5% today to almost a third of Ras Al Khaimah’s economy in the near future.”
The FTI GROUP is a major player in Germany’s tourism sector, accounting for a 15% share of the market and US$4 billion turnover in FY2021/22. It has agreements with more than 10,000 partner travel agencies in Germany, making it an important strategic partner in support of RAKTDA’s visitor growth targets.
Ralph Schiller, CEO of FTI GROUP commented: “The signing of this agreement significantly strengthens our partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and aligns with our business development plans by boosting outbound tourism to the Emirate. With this long-term partnership, we are contributing to Ras Al Khaimah’s growth story. We look forward to the great future that lies ahead of Ras Al Khaimah and areexcited to be a part of it.”
The announcement of the expanded partnership with the FTI GROUP coincides with the signing of an agreement also announced at the Arab Aviation Summit between the tourism authority and Qatar Airways that will see the Qatari flag carrier launch direct daily flights to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, commencing 1 November. Both agreements reinforce RAKTDA’s strategy designed to boost inbound tourism by enhancing global air connectivity to the Emirate.
Recognised by Time magazine as one of the World’s Greatest Places of 2022 and CNN Travel’s best destinations to visit in 2023 for its stunning, unique topography and geodiversity, Ras Al Khaimah offers a myriad of authentic, diverse and inspiring experiences for every kind of traveller – perfect for those looking for adventure, nature, family fun and more.