Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has announced its comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Destination Strategy that, it says, will see the emirate become the regional leader in environmentally conscious tourism by 2025.
The strategy maps out 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 for Sustainable Tourism in Ras Al Khaimah include: delivering authentic tourism experiences through preservation and conservation, taking an industry-wide focus that provides both economic productivity and sustainable development, improving the quality of life and well-being of citizens and residents with a community-based approach and setting environmental goals based on minimising the industry’s carbon footprint and contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
On the launch of the new strategy, CEO Raki Phillips said: “The far-reaching effects of the pandemic brought into focus the need 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: “With the theme ‘Rise Together’ at this year’s Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), the time is right to signal to industry investors that sustainable considerations need to be top of the 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 half a billion dirhams in partnership with RAK Hospitality Holding and RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
These projects center on the emirate’s new destination strategy that focuses on nature, leisure, adventure, accessibility and authenticity.
As part of its ongoing sustainability efforts, RAKTDA works with EarthCheck, the global environmental experts, to co-create and implement sustainable practices that address key sustainability and climate change issues facing the tourism industry. The authority also run a scholarship programme with the American University of Ras Al Khaimah focused on tourism-related educational programming.