The travel and hospitality industries suffered a severe reduction in business in 2020 due to travel restrictions imposed in the United Arab Emirates and globally. These restrictions let to a drastic fall in the number of tourists in the UAE in 2020 and this had a knock-on effect on value sales in experiential luxury that rely on the travel industry.
In order to prevent a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the UAE, luxury hotels and luxury foodservice outlets were obliged to abide by strict social distancing and hygiene measures. In luxury hotels, this meant more stringent sanitation and hygiene procedures, including heightened room-cleaning regimes and the sanitisation of room keys and cards.
In 2020, luxury hotels turned its attention towards local residents as the number of international tourists visiting the UAE remained low throughout the year. Even as travel restrictions ended, tourists are still reluctant to travel internationally, which has continued to affect experiential luxury in the UAE.
As consumers begin to return to tourist destinations in 2021 and throughout the forecast period, luxury hotels and luxury foodservice outlets will need to show that they care for the safety and wellbeing of their returning guests. This will include an increased focus on hygiene and sanitisation, as the pandemic will continue to present an ongoing threat for consumers.
The development and delivery of global vaccine programmes will stimulate the recovery of experiential luxury in the forecast period. As the vaccine becomes more widely available around the world, the threat of COVID-19 is expected to diminish, allowing tourism to pick up around the world and, therefore, increasing the demand for products and services in experiential luxury that rely on the travel industry.
Tourism is expected to make a relatively swift recovery in 2021 and throughout the forecast period thanks to the government’s support of the travel industry in the UAE. During the pandemic, and going into the 2021, many companies in experiential luxury will continue to encourage local consumers to embark upon staycations in order to boost value sales whilst international tourism remains low.
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This report originates from Passport, our Experiential Luxury research and analysis database.
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