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UAE residents have ambitious travel plans for 2021, Hilton research reveal

UAE residents are already gearing up for a busy year of travel in 2021, according to new research conducted by Hilton.

More than half of survey respondents (51 per cent), which included UAE nationals, said they are planning three or more holidays next year if global travel advice allows, with the main reasons being missed holidays due to the pandemic and the desire to revisit treasured destinations with their families.

With Covid-19 making international trips more challenging, more than three quarters (80 per cent) of residents said the chance to create new memories was the aspect of travel they yearned for the most, and that some of their best memories were made from going away on holiday (81 per cent).

Conducted by Hilton and the market research company YouGov, the survey of 1,000 people of various nationalities across the UAE is part of Hilton’s recently launched “To New Memories” marketing campaign, which is built on research insights that show consumers are craving reconnections with family and friends.

The sweeping impact of Covid-19 on leisure travel was clearly reflected in the survey. Almost all respondents (91 per cent) said they had at least one overseas holiday cancelled this year, with close to half cancelling a holiday within the Middle East and North Africa region.

In a clear sign that jet-setting UAE residents still relish the vacationing experience, 84 per cent said they miss the chance to create new memories on holiday. The results also highlighted the importance of the hospitality industry to people’s overall holiday experience and, more specifically, the travel priorities of UAE nationals.

Almost all (99 per cent) of Emirati respondents felt strongly about missing out on making memories with their families when staying at hotels. This was a shared consensus, where close to 80 per cent of all surveyed respondents said their hotel stay is an essential part of the vacationing experience and creating wonderful memories with loved ones.

In terms of the top holiday destinations, just over a third of all respondents (34 per cent) said they will travel to their home country, followed by more than a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents favouring mainland Europe. Among UAE Nationals, mainland Europe was also the leading destination preference (44 per cent), followed by the Far East (33 per cent).

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