The Covid-19 Pandemic may have stopped the world, but the year 2021 has come with new hopes and goals. UAE’s tourism sector has received some respite with the government’s latest initiatives and travel companies are leaving no stone unturned to pump up life into the sector.
Mr Omar Ali, Executive Director, Corporate Communications & Projects, Nirvana Travel Agency throws light on the current situation of the UAE Tourism sector and it’s expected future.
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The travel and tourism sector has been the most affected globally. How do you think the new year is going to be?
The travel and tourism sector has been the first and most affected of all major sectors worldwide; however, 2021 looks more promising due to the launch and approval of the new vaccines and all the precautionary measures taken worldwide when it comes to travelling domestically or internationally.
Things are going to get better for the travel and tourism industry than they are now. We expect the industry to start recovering starting Q2 of 2021.
Given the latest travel rules for residents and tourists, do you think the situation will get better?
Yes, the new travel regulations will create a safer atmosphere and reassurance for travelers and will once again promote both leisure and business travel.
It will give people a clear vision on how to plan their journey and what precautions they should take, and most importantly, it will clear their uncertainties on the safety of travel.
Besides, all destinations have set their precautionary measures and Safety procedures that need to be abided by. That will highlight the level of safety of the destination to the traveler.
There are reports in the media that the coronavirus crisis has boosted domestic tourism by 107%. How true is it, and what’s your take on this?
It is true. Domestic tourism increased a lot compared to the previous years due to the fact that most people haven’t travelled for annual leaves and decided to utilize their leaves on a domestic level.
Will programs like ‘Winter in Desert’ more employment opportunities? If yes, please specify the areas.
The UAE created this program to encourage both local and international tourism to experience its desert winters, which will give tourists (both national and international) the chance to explore the UAE and its 7 emirates. This has become more evident recently, for example, Steve Harvey’s visit many emirates and promoting the activities, culture, and cuisine of the UAE. Accordingly, this will assist the Travel & Tourism industry to recover faster and will require a bigger manpower to cater to the growth of both international and national tourists.
The initiatives like ‘Welcome to the world’ in which travelers will get to make their booking directly supporting local businesses. Do you think travel solution providers will be affected?
Initially, the potential business will be divided between across the industry through channels, whether it’s directly from the travel agency or through travel solution providers.
What new skills do you think candidates should acquire while looking for a job in the new normal?
The pandemic caused a financial impact and also set new norms in all industries across the world. Whether it’s working from home, precautionary measures, or even completely limiting (if not stopping) some activities. Therefore, candidates should focus on new skills related to their field of work that can be both efficient for their clients and highlight the high level of safety taken in order to ensure the service/product is delivered to the client without them having to worry about safety. By efficient, I mean delivering the same level of service/product while considering the new spending patterns of consumers.
This could include facilitating their work remotely, relying on technology, and even researching new ways/tools that can assist in delivering their field of work whilst taking into consideration all the precautionary measures required in the new normal.
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