The United Nations World Tourism Organisation and Libyan ministry of tourism have signed an agreement outlining the development and phased implementation of a tourism strategy and action plan. Under the agreement UNWTO will provide support to Libya´s ministry of tourism in its strategic tourism development through institutional building and governance, sustainable development, marketing and human resource development.
Qatar Airways has launched scheduled flights to the Libyan port city of Benghazi in North Africa. Operating four-times-a-week from Doha, Libya’s second largest city is a leading economic centre, ideally located on the Mediterranean for trade and export.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office officials have confirmed the few remaining British nationals in the Libyan capital of Tripoli are being shipped out to Malta. The decision comes as fierce fighting sweeps the city as the regime of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi appears close to collapse.
Tourism ministers from across the MENA region are battling to maintain bookings as the crisis in Libya continues to deepen. Turkey, Israel, and Malta have all reported a slowdown in interest as the political situation in the region continues to fluctuate.
A no-fly zone is in place in Libya after 110 missiles were fired towards Tripoli overnight from Western forces against the regime of Col Muammar Gaddafi. The military action, code-named ‘operation Odyssey Dawn’ was initiated by French forces shortly after a summit in Paris. This was followed by missiles fired from the US and British Navy.
Foreign nationals still in Libya are being urged to make for the airport as the country braces for further protests. Tripoli is likely to be the focus of protests, with rebel forces seeking to capture the city as demonstrations against the rule of Col Gaddafi reach a possible climax.
The British Foreign Office has stated the vast majority of British nationals who want to leave Libya have now done so. Commercial flights are still in operation, with government charters and military evacuations also contributing.
At least 220 British nationals remain stuck in Libya, after 500 British citizens were evacuated by plane and by boat overnight.
David Cameron has issued an apology to the British nationals stranded in Libya after his government’s slow reaction to the crisis left many still awaiting rescue. Foreign Secretary William Hague has ordered an investigation after the first government charter was delayed by 12 hours due to a technical fault at Gatwick. Other European countries including France, Russia and Netherlands have all evacuated their citizens from the war torn nation.