RAS AL KHAIMAH TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY STRENGTHENS TIES WITH SWISS TRAVEL INDUSTRY AS EMIRATE PLAYS HOST TO MORE THAN 200 OF THE COUNTRY’S LEADING TRAVEL AGENTS AND TOUR OPERATORS

Swiss Travel Association (SRV) selects UAE’s nature tourism destination for its first annual General Assembly since the pandemic reflecting the destination’s growing popularity with Swiss travellers

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority is pleased to host the Schweizer Reise-Verband’s (Swiss Travel Association’s) first annual General Assembly since the pandemic, welcoming 180 leading Swiss travel agents and tour operators in the Emirate from 17 – 20 November 2021.

Ras Al Khaimah’s progressive approach towards tourism development, building on an already attractive destination platform, was a key draw card for SRV when selecting a location for its first General Assembly in two years.  With a growing number of Swiss travellers looking to explore the nature tourism destination and with year-to-date arrivals from Switzerland (January to September) already surpassing full-year 2020 figures, the tourism authority is building on this momentum, introducing SRV (Schweizer Reise-Verband) delegates attending the three-day event to a range of destination experiences, from adrenalin-fueled mountain activities atop Jebel Jais, the highest mountain peak in the UAE, to the country’s first pearl farm, and spectacular natural landscapes in-between.

Hosting SRV provides a unique opportunity to strengthen ties with industry partners in Switzerland, a key tourism source market earmarked for development, according to Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

“It is a real honour for Ras Al Khaimah to be selected as the host destination for the SRV annual General Assembly, particularly as it is the first to be staged since the pandemic. This not only reflects the emirate’s growing popularity with Swiss travellers, who are attracted to our abundance of natural attractions, from world-class beaches and rolling desert dunes to exhilarating mountain experiences but is testament to the robust health and safety measures we have in place,” said Phillips.

“Our Swiss visitors and SRV guests will experience a one-of-kind getaway to Ras Al Khaimah, a safe destination as certified by both Bureau Veritas, the international leader in testing, inspection and certification and the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) Safe Travels Stamp. We are thrilled to meet our Swiss industry partners in person and to showcase our diverse destination offering during the SRV event, which we hope will generate mutually beneficial tourism business in 2022 and beyond.”

The fastest-growing destination in the region, Ras Al Khaimah was named the Gulf Tourism Capital in 2020 and 2021 by the Gulf Cooperation Council, recognised for its commitment to developing more than 20 sustainable tourism projects and its strong pipeline of new attractions, accommodation and supporting infrastructure.

According to SRV President Max E. Katz, “Ras Al Khaimah’s unique combination of stunning natural beauty, culture and heritage, adventure activities and luxury accommodation ticks all the right boxes for Swiss travellers, who are increasingly looking to book a nature-based escape in the emirate,” said Kunz. “Given its popularity and with new attractions now open, the destination was the perfect choice for this year’s SRV annual General Assembly. We are also looking forward to hearing more about the emirate’s ambitious plans to sustainably develop its tourism offering, which will further boost its appeal to the Swiss travel market.”

Swiss guests can experience some of the destination’s world-class attractions, ranging from the Sky Tour on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain, with a series of ziplines flying them over awe-inspiring cliffs and canyons, to an insightful trip to Suwaidi Pearls Farm, located in the small fishing village of Al Rams, where they will learn about the unique cultural heritage of the pearling industry and discover the natural lagoon’s underwater treasures.

Based in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the Swiss Travel Association (SRV), founded in 1928, represents the interests of 595 active members, including travel agencies, tour operators and online travel agencies, as well as 144 passive members such as airlines, tourist offices, tourism schools, car rental companies, travel insurance firms and other entities related to the tourism industry. SRV members generate 80% of the Swiss travel sector’s total turnover, contributing around CHF 7.5 billion (AED29.89 billion) every year.

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