Travel and tourism is a key pillar of the UAE economy. Without question, the travel and tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way people think about international travel. However, now that flights from UAE have resumed to many places, are people comfortable travelling? In fact, 5 Destinations Under 6 Hours From The UAE That Are Now Welcoming Abu Dhabi Residents.
Serco’s user-centred design company, ExperienceLab, conducted research to ascertain people’s perception of international travel in this climate. Here’s what the survey revealed.
Findings From The Survey
As per the survey results, 83% of respondents were concerned about travelling internationally until the virus is contained. In addition, 16% said they couldn’t wait to travel for vacations as soon as possible. And 55% said they would postpone travel until a vaccine or effective treatment is found.
The consensus between these fields of thought was that both were very much missing travel and simply required varying levels of safety to be implemented for them to do so.
Even so, the feedback on the study shows that there is still a lot of hesitation regarding travel and that most of that hesitation doesn’t necessarily come from concerns of their own personal safety as such, but instead around the levels of trust people would have in each other to have followed the correct infection control guidelines. With the signs and potential risk of a second wave of the virus, perhaps people are right to recognise the worry of ‘just because I have followed all the rules, it doesn’t mean the other people on my journey have’.
Local Government Is The Key To Restoring Confidence In Travel Globally
ExperienceLab’s research shows that although people are choosing to travel as the effects of the pandemic become more controlled, the biggest variable and perhaps inhibitive factor to travel is the availability and accuracy of information. This is true for both visitors to the UAE and across the globe. There’s confusion around what you need to do before you travel, what restrictions are in place, whether or not you need a test and when, what documentation will be needed, so on and so forth. By defining a centralised source of information for travellers that adds clarity to all aspects of the journey, governments can enable them to travel with more confidence, knowing that they are following the correct procedure.
UAE’s Adapts To New Techniques To Improve Visitor Confidence
The UAE by and large has been receptive to the challenges of the pandemic, adapting the way we do even the most basic of activities – such as ordering food at a restaurant, with menus now viewable via QR code. Being receptive to travellers’ expectations and concerns has helped Dubai reopen to tourists. In addition, technology also plays a huge role in reinstalling travellers’ confidence. A host of services have become contactless, and have moved to the virtual medium. The UAE introduced a list of online services for the comfort of the residents and travellers, during the pandemic.
Covid-19 is driving and fast-tracking digital transformation across most industries. The travel and hospitality industry included. As the industry adapts it would do well to ensure these new experiences are designed to ease the stress and anxiety caused by the uncertainties Covid-19 brings, not add to them.
Expo2021 To Implement Additional Safety Measures
The UAE government has proposed a new start date for Expo 2020. The event will begin on October 1, 2021 and run until 31 March, 2022. The event will feature pavilions from 192 countries.
It is highly likely that we will still be living with the effects of COVID-19 by the time Expo2021 comes around, even with its new date. Expo will re-analyse visitor experience in preparation for the event. Centred around conferences, talks, networking and concerts, by definition each event at Expo2021 will require changes that support social distancing and overall infection control. Given the extra time they have to do so, it would be invigorating to see a truly contemporary and forward-thinking approach to this, particularly given the themes of the world expo itself.
UAE Airports Play An Important Role In Ensuring Travellers Feel Safe
The research also showed that 43% of people would travel as soon as possible, most often to visit family they haven’t seen during the crisis, but would take additional precautions. Many expressed need for reassurance from airlines and destinations about safety measures in place.
As such, the role that airports play in welcoming travellers to the UAE will be more important than ever. Dubai opened doors to tourists on 7 July. Ever since then, travellers from across the world have been visiting the city. Dubai Airport has put in place strict measures to ensure travellers’ safety. Global travel company Kuoni also said that as per Google, UAE was one of the most searched destinations tourism in 2021.
Dubai Airport was a pioneer in operating and returning to the skies. DXB reopened to tourists on 7 July and ever since then, the city has witnessed a dramatic rise in tourists. As per reports Dubai welcomed more than 20,000 travellers. Majority of the travelers turned out to be tourists as well as residents travelling in and out the country.
In addition, DXB has also shuffled things around to make travel smooth for passengers. The Dubai Airport now has 15 new counters to complete the visitors procedure. All travellers must wear facemask at all times and this precaution has helped increase the number of tourists. In fact, Dubai’s tourism numbers are expected to peak in November, touching similar to those of 2019. UAE has taken the lead in opening the airports by taking all precautionary measures to curb the pandemic. On that note, UAE Airlines Will Now Accept PCR Test Reports From All Approved Labs In Countries Of Departure.