Dubai: UAE residents are aiming for some travel catch up next year, at least according to a survey from the hotel company Hilton. So much so, more than half of the respondents, which included UAE nationals, are planning three or more holidays next year if global travel advice says they can do so.
With the pandemic making trips more challenging, more than three-quarters of residents said the chance to create new memories was the aspect of travel they yearned for the most. The survey, which was conducted by Hilton and YouGov, represents part of the hotel brand's recently launched marketing campaign.
It "demonstrates the hospitality industry’s crucial role in shaping people’s travel experience," said Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, President for Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Hilton.
Almost all respondents said they had at least one overseas holiday cancelled this year, with close to half cancelling a holiday trip within the region. In a clear sign that UAE residents still place a lot on the experience, 84 per cent said they miss the chance to create new memories on holiday.
Almost all Emirati respondents said they felt strongly about missing out on creating new memories with their families when staying at hotels. Close to 80 per cent of all surveyed said their hotel stay is an essential part of the vacationing experience and creating those memories.
In terms of the top holiday destinations, just over a third of all respondents said they will travel to their home country, followed by more than a quarter of respondents favouring mainland Europe. Among UAE nationals, mainland Europe was also the leading destination preference, followed by the Far East.
Although international travel has slowed down, staycations across the UAE have become increasingly popular. In fact, this was the most common type of holiday in 2020, with close to half of respondents taking an extended trip or weekend. More than half of respondents say they will book more staycations even as travel restrictions ease, either every month or every quarter.