Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Tourism Council reviewed the national plans to develop a tourism data system in accordance with global best practices and promote tourism in foreign markets to increase the footfall of visitors in the UAE, it said on Wednesday.
The first Council meeting in 2022, under the chairmanship of Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, also reviewed the performance of the tourism sector and hotel establishments in the country in 2021 and the growth rates achieved in several tourism indicators.
According to data, hotel establishments in the country hosted 19 million guests in 2021, with a growth of more than 29 per cent compared to the number of guests in 2020. Domestic tourism accounted for 58 per cent of the total number of guests last year in the UAE. Hotel establishments last year generated revenues of Dh28 billion, witnessing a growth of up to 70 per cent compared to 2020.
Over the past year, more than 75 million hotel nights have been booked, up 42 per cent compared to 2020, while the hotel occupancy rate reached 67 per cent, which is the highest rate ever achieved in leading tourist destinations worldwide. The number of hotel establishments in the UAE increased by 5 per cent in 2021 to 1,144 establishments, as compared to 2020. During the same period, the number of hotel rooms increased by 8 per cent to 194,000 rooms across the UAE.
“This shows a full recovery of the national tourism sector and confirms the positive direction it is increasingly achieving,” Al Falasi said.
Al Falasi also noted the importance of major events and initiatives organised by the UAE during the past phase in achieving these results and providing national tourism with great developmental potential.
“Expo 2020 Dubai attracted more than 24 million visitors in six months, and the second edition of the ‘most beautiful winter in the world’ campaign, which generated revenues of Dh1.5 billion, attracted more than 1.3 million domestic tourists in just one and a half months,” he said.