UAE’s Hospitality Industry Likely to Witness Lag Despite Inoculation Drive

The coronavirus pandemic has made the global hotel industry experience an unforeseen rollercoaster ride. Despite fast inoculation drive, the UAE’s hospitality industry has been struggling to deal with reduced hotel occupancy rates. Even as worldwide travel restrictions remain the primary cause for pitfall of UAE’s hoteliers, several other factors (including geopolitical differences) pose serious challenges.

As the country aims to lure more tourists post pandemic, its hospitality sector is witnessing an overflow of new hotels. Increased competition and less demand have challenged the survival of hoteliers who have been hoping to surpass Covid losses. While the government propagates vaccination drives as the best possible way to revive the tourism sector, it is ignoring that vaccination is not the prime solution. At least not until an year!

By planning to offer travel opportunity to few vaccinated people, the country will lose a major percentage of young travellers as not all countries will be able to vaccinate young generation in 2021. Also, one mustn’t ignore that the virus is mutating, hence, some vaccines might prove to be less effective against it. This will withdraw tourists from visiting the UAE’s despite all efforts.

There is no denying the fact that the normalisation deal with Israel boosted revenues for UAE’s hospitality industry. Entry bans from India and UK have further escalated problems for hoteliers. Ever since the UAE banned flights from India due to concerns over rising Covid cases, airline ticket charges have gone lot higher than earlier. Under such circumstances, the UAE’s hospitality industry couldn’t welcome a gush of tourists who were expected during Ramadan.

The UK’s refusal to remove UAE from its ‘red-ban’ list is another blow for the UAE hospitality industry. As per UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, UAE may remain on the list as it is an international transit hub. Since, UK is an important source of UAE’s tourists, prolonged halt to influx of travellers will hamper revenues for UAE’s hospitality industry for much longer time.

Considering all obstacles, it remains to be seen if the UAE hospitality industry will be able to swim across the challenges extended by Covid-19!

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