UAE ranked Top 2 in hotel occupancy rates in 2020, says report

The UAE tourism sector performed well in 2020 despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, recording the world’s second highest hotel occupancy rate of 57.4 per cent, behind China, according to data released by the Ministry of Economy.


The global rate dropped to 37% under the weight of the pandemic, and hotels in the Middle East region recorded just 43% occupancy. 


This is in parallel to the significant decline in tourist activity, which fell by 74% around the world and 76% in the region.


As per global statistics on tourism, China ranked first in the world in occupancy rates at hotel establishments with a rate of 58%, followed by the UAE in second place with 54.7%, and the US in third with 37%. 


The top three were followed by Mexico (32%), Turkey (30%), Thailand (27%), the United Kingdom (26%), Spain (23%), Italy (16%), and Germany (12%).


Statistics also revealed that the UAE suffered the least in terms of tourist traffic in 2020, where activity fell by just 45.2% – the lowest drop in the world. 


The UAE was followed by Mexico, where tourist traffic decreased by 52%, then Italy (63%), Germany (69%), Turkey (73%), Saudi Arabia (76%), the USA (77%), Spain (78%), the UK (82%), and Thailand (83%).


According to the ministry, the tourism sector was among the least affected and fastest to recover around the world.


Hospitality establishments welcomed 14.8 million guests in 2020, who spent 54.2 million nights in 1,089 different establishments that provided approximately 180,000 rooms, according to official statistics issued by the World Tourism Organisation and the Emirates Tourism Council. 


This brings the average stay to 3.7 nights per guest, with returns of AED318.5 per room. Meanwhile, domestic tourism contributed AED41 billion to the national economy last year – a figure that is expected to double in the upcoming few years.


"The global tourism industry bore the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic,” noted Al Falasi. 


"Guided by the directives of its wise leadership, the UAE was able to quickly contain the outbreak’s impact on the local tourism sector, relying on innovation and agility in its efforts to provide incentives, launch initiatives, and create opportunities to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector and boost its contribution to GDP," he added.


Despite the tremendous challenges it brought onto the industry, the pandemic also created new opportunities for domestic tourism, with a surge in demand recorded over the past year, especially during the holidays and vacation season, and some establishments even reporting full occupancy, he noted. 


This reflects the high quality of the services the sector provides, which rank among the best in the world, Al Falasi stated. 


"Strengthening domestic tourism is essential for ensuring the tourism sector’s full recovery and driving faster economic recuperation. The UAE can benefit from its advanced infrastructure, modern facilities, and wide range of services and activities to promote itself as a tourist destination with a lot to offer visitors – be they UAE residents or travellers from abroad," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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