Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are already setting examples for other Middle Eastern countries where KSA is planning to invest $810 billion to transform the tourism industry, says Dr. Sanjay Batheja, Co-Founder & Director of Capital College.
While industries like Big Data, healthcare and pharmaceutical thrived during the pandemic, sectors like hospitality, marketing and tourism witnessed some backlash. However, as the famous saying goes, ‘Change is Constant’, many industries have seen a positive shift in their business; especially tourism and hospitality division. Additionally, with UAE and Bahrain normalizing agreement with Israel, there is an expectation of a sharp rise in tourists from Israel as compared to a whopping 8.9 million outbound travellers as recorded in 2019.
Vaccine accelerates tourism
The tourism industry will be one of the top sectors that will reap the benefits of the vaccine. Travellers may still have to take precaution, yet tourism and hospitality expects a swift recovery with the ‘new normal’ form of travelling. With the United Arab Emirates approving the vaccine Sinopharm, and successful allocation of millions of doses to its frontline workers, it can be safe to say how the industry can anticipate an economic recovery while taking the highest precautionary measures. UAE’s campaign late last year to encourage local tourism and promote desert winters with ‘The Most Beautiful Winter in the World’ programme will further boost domestic tourism.
Events Back in Business
While many European countries including the UK, France and Germany witnessed a lockdown in the last quarter of 2020, the UAE and other Middle Eastern regions saw a rise in events while enforcing and abiding by the highest safety measures. With GITEX, technology week in Dubai and G-20 in KSA, I am certain this is only a stepping stone for the events and hospitality sector to be back in business. Arabian Travel Market announced its 2021 edition in May which only fosters hope for a grander comeback of the industry; ATM is expected to have a great footfall, especially considering Israel’s participation in a major travel event in the region.
Expo 2020 – A New Ray of Hope
Expo 2020’s aim to connect, network, build and nurture relations with cross countries and its corporations, I believe has become more relevant than ever. Additionally, reports from the Central Bank claims UAE’s GDP is expected to grow by 3.6% which will only create further job opportunities and keep the hospitality and tourism industry thriving to welcome nations to the world’s biggest expo.