Having recorded 15% visitors’ growth from India market in 2022 at 62,000, Ajman Department of Tourism Development (ADTD) is working on accelerating the Indian arrivals. The Department is focusing on tapping the potential of Indian MICE, Corporate Travel, Weddings, and other segments to drive the growth. Khadija Turki, Director, Tourism Development and Marketing, Ajman Department of Tourism Development, speaks on India strategy.
How would you explain India as a source market for Ajman? What was the Indian arrival numbers in 2022 and what is your expectation from 2023?
The Indian market is an important and primary market for Ajman, and we look forward to accelerated arrival numbers in the upcoming years. We have recorded a noteworthy 15% growth in the number of Indian visitors in 2022, the 2nd largest among international feeder markets for Ajman. A total of 62,000 Indians visited Ajman from the Indian market in 2022 and we are certain about increase in growth.
What new products are you launching in India?
In Ajman, guests are warmly welcomed-in and sincere generosity is evidenced throughout everyday life. With Ajman’s diverse tourism attractions and activities, the emirate has something for everyone. Ajman appeals to tourists of all ages & nationalities, including those who are interested in luxury beach holidays, seeking a memorable fun filled family gate away, adventure seekers, heritage, and culture enthusiasts or those who just want to connect with nature. Ajman attractions have put in place a range of precautionary measures to give the visitors the continued confidence to enjoy a diverse range of experiences within a safe environment. The department is currently focusing on MICE and corporate events, wedding destination allayment, eco-tourism, medical tourism, and experiences focused approach.
What promotional and marketing activities have you planned for India market to tap the new age travelers?
Ajman Tourism started the year with organizing a networking evening in Delhi for representatives of travel and tourism agencies, MICE companies, wedding planers, and a group of media professionals in India to promote the tourism and entertainment capacities, new projects, and potential investment opportunities in the emirate, as well as enhancing the position of the Indian market among the main feeder markets. That was followed by attending SATTE as one of the important tourism fairs around the globe. We are planning other marketing activities in order to enhance the Indian market, out of which could be Fam trips, Media trips, trade workshops to name a few.
How is the development on tourism and related infrastructure front?
For the past couple of years, the emirate of Ajman has been heavily investing in reinforcing its infrastructure, promoting distinguished projects, and developing its vital regions which have all transformed it into an attractive environment for tourism that offers a unique cultural, natural, and entertaining experience for its visitors. New projects Ajman Municipality department is conducting and executing currently which will add to the tourism offerings in Ajman. The project “The Heritage Route” is in Ajman, city center sector, Al Nakheel District. Through the project, a heritage Route will be established that links all heritage buildings starting from Ajman Museum to Old Market (Souq Saleh) passing through old houses that will be preserved based on a criterion, extending to the waterfront. The path will enable pedestrian to walk in the area. The project also promotes sustainable tourism and preserve the heritage buildings in the area. Ajman Tourism is taking a holistic approach to develop the existing offering and creating new opportunities and unique offering including our existence digitally. New partnerships and MOUs signed this year with distinguished partners from the government and private sectors which will create advantages positioning with culture, art, recreation, production, digital, academic, and medical.
What is digital marketing roadmap for this year?
Ajman Tourism is pushing its presence via social media platforms, by adding consumer engagement, working with social media influencers to promote the destination & its attraction. We trust that our social media activities (on its different channels) – focusing on Ajman’s attractions and areas such as Masfout (hiking and biking trails) and Manama as well as the main attractions of Ajman, will target new audience into the destination.
What sort of global best practices are you planning to adopt on sustainability and green fronts this year?
Being a part of UAE, this year has been announcing as the sustainability year and UAE is hosting COP28 this year as well, Ajman Tourism is focused on continuing and maintaining the sustainable initiatives. Ajman mangroves forests existing at Alzorah Natural Reserve is continuing the efforts to grow the area as we are part of the UAE national pledge to plant 100 million mangroves by year 2030.
Any factor that is hindering the growth from India?
Same as all countries, the political and economic instability which the world is currently witnessing has its impact, however the UAE government is working hard to offset any negative impact coupled with the vision of the wise leadership of all the emirates leaders. Despite the political and economic factors impacting the world, which were witnessed since 2022, Ajman was able to maintain the same number of visitors into the destination compared to 2021 figures. In harmony with a strategic vision and focusing on sustainability, Ajman will scale and rise as an important touristic destination in the UAE and is becoming more and more attractive to tourists. It is remarkable what small cities can achieve when coupled with a wise leadership.