RAS AL KHAIMAH,- The opening of the annual UAE World Tourism Day conference, hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) for the second year in a row, was attended by H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah.

The half-day UAE World Tourism Day Conference, held at the Al Marjan Island Convention Centre, saw a keynote address from Mohammad Al Muhairi, Under-Secretary to the UAE Minister of Economy, who spoke about the important contribution of tourism to Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE.

In addition to discussing issues and developments with regard to tourism and matters that strengthen Ras Al Khaimah's and the UAE's tourism propositions, the conference addressed the key needs of family and elderly travellers, aligning with UNWTO's World Tourism Day which was marked earlier this week - under the theme 'Tourism for All - Promoting Universal Accessibility.' Topics explored included how to make tourism destinations and products accessible to disabled travellers, elderly travellers with reduced mobility, and families with small children. The potential of wellness tourism was discussed as the percentage of the mature travelling population continues to grow.

Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA said, "World Tourism Day is an annual event organised by the UNTWO, which aims to promote responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As well as marking the celebrations with an informative and insightful conference, we decided to go a step further this year and put words into action.

RAKTDA has today strengthened its commitment to deliver Tourism For All by signing the Accessible Tourism Code of Good Conduct. This code was developed by the European Network of Accessible Tourism (ENAT) - represented today by one of our keynote speakers Ivor Ambrose. Over the next three years, we will commence the journey to honour our commitment to this code by establishing accessible tourism products and practices in the emirate."

The conference also served as an opportunity for RAKTDA to demonstrate the emirate's capabilities in staging high profile meetings.

"We have a superb range of venues as well as the expertise to service the high value MICE sector and are building a credible reputation as an exciting alternative for business conferences and corporate gatherings," Mattar explained.

"We are supporting the development of our MICE profile with the creation of an events calendar for the destination which we anticipate will act as a spur to attract additional meetings, convention, incentives and exhibition business," he concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency