Travellers that have been holding off going on holiday internationally might find it easier to do so in 2022, which looks set to be a strong year for the travel and tourism sector, a travel expert has said.
Raja Mir Wasim, manager at Galadari International Travel Services (ITS), explained that 2021 was a year of recovery for the travel sector, and that the growth would carry over and gain momentum in 2022. However, he also noted that concerns about new Covid-19 variants, such as Omicron, would remain.
Highlighting the industry as it was seen in the current year, he revealed that from August onwards, the sentiment “was quite positive.”
“People couldn’t travel for over two years, so we were getting a lot of queries throughout September to November. However, the new Omicron variant has made many people reconsider their international travel plans, especially to places in Europe such as Germany and Switzerland. Several countries have re-imposed lockdowns, and this has made many people hesitant because they don’t want to get stuck in a country with their families while on vacation,” he said.
While there was a “positive momentum” for the majority of this year, the new Omicron variant had definitely shaken the confidence level of travelers to the point that some of them decided to either cancel their travel packages, or postpone their plans until they have more clarity on the situation. “The idea now is to postpone their vacations to next year in March or April, during the school holidays,” Wasim said.
Looking ahead, he said that 2022 comes with several positive indicators, even if concerns about Omicron and new variants remain. “We have very strong expansion plans for next year, and we are very confident that the growth will be very steep.”
Wasim also highlighted how the UAE has emerged as a role model for nations, with the way that it has tackled the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Just recently, it was announced that Dubai Airports are now operating at 100 per cent capacity, which speaks volumes about the level of trust and effective management that the country has shown in its travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors. Our guests from Europe, and the US, have said that they are very pleased with the level of hospitality that they are getting here, as well as the level of safety. Travellers know that they are in safe hands, when they are here in the UAE.”
While the appetite is clearly geared towards international travel, due to pent up travel demand, staycations remain popular among residents, he added. “Going for a staycation in Ras Al Khaimah is a safe decision, especially for residents with families; you don’t have to worry about quarantine or spending on PCR tests for your whole family. September, October, and November were very good months for us in the staycation segment with Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and even Dubai being popular staycation destinations. There are a couple of new hotels coming up on the Palm, which are beach properties, so there will also be a lot of interest there.”
Highlighting why travellers should look to ITS when booking their next holiday, he said that ITS presents a tried and trusted model that has resulted in a several loyal customers over the years. “The majority of our clients are repeat customers, who have not only enjoyed our travel and holiday packages, but have also recommended our services to their friends and family. We believe in flexibility, transparency, and 24/7 engagement with our clients.”
He added that ITS has been operating and catering to the travel needs of UAE residents for more than 40 years. “We specialize in customised booking for all our clients around the world. ITS gradually expanded its services in tourism and travel for various destinations worldwide. We don’t just sell travel solutions to our customers, we help them make memories for a lifetime.”
The company’s successful track record is backed by the feedback shared by its clients, many of whom noted the attention to detail and how supportive the company’s staff were in facilitating requests.
“I acknowledge my sincere thanks and gratitude to ITS and SOTC for arranging a memorable trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg. To start acknowledging thanks for making the trip wonderful, Sameer needs to be thanked from the bottom of our heart for his wonderful coordination and support; all arrangements were seamless,” said Bishwajit Nandi, a recent customer.
Mohamed Abdul Rehman, another customer, also shared: “Sameer is great to work with. He and his team have helped us with numerous travel plans. He responds very promptly to requests and has helped us with many memorable vacations.”
“We offer A to Z solutions that are designed to make travelling extremely easy and enjoyable,” Wasim added. “We offer everything from flights, airport pickup, and hotel stays, to meals, sightseeing, and attractions. We also guarantee peace of mind in the event of a cancellation, re-booking, or a refund.”
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