WTM news: Is Libya the new tourism hotspot?
Libya’s unexplored and unspoilt coastline, Roman Empire heritage and closeness to Europe could see it emerge as a tourism hotspot, reveals industry research by World Travel Market.
The World Travel Market Industry Report 2012 asked 1,310 global exhibitors and buyers from the WTM Meridian Club whether the country could become a viable tourism destination.
More than a third of the industry (34%) feel the country, which is exhibiting at WTM for the first time since the fall of Colonel Gaddaffi’s regime, has tourism potential now, including 12% that described its tourism potential as ‘significant’. The main reasons cited were the country’s 1800km coastline, its Roman Empire heritage and closeness to Europe.
More than half (56%) feel Libya has tourism potential in the future once the country is perceived as completely political stable and improves its tourism infrastructure.
WTM 2012, the leading global event for the travel industry, is delighted to welcome The Libya Export Promotion Centre, which is exhibiting in the Africa region. Its stand will feature a dozen or so Libyan tourism businesses, from destination services to hotels, cultural tours and desert safari specialists.
Most international traffic into Libya is related to the ongoing reconstruction efforts. Demand from the business travel community means that flights are available. British Airways and Afriqiyah Airways both fly direct from London to Tripoli. Lufthansa, Qatar, Emirates and Alitalia are among the other airlines operating regular services.
Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery said: “Libya has great tourism potential and I am delighted to welcome it to WTM 2012 so the country’s tourism industry can meet with airlines, hoteliers, tour operators and travel agents to help fulfil its potential.
“The country’s long coastline, history and heritage gives it’s a great opportunity to have a thriving tourism industry. Many destinations such as Vietnam and Croatia have repositioned from conflict zones to tourism hotspots, and there is no reason why Libya cannot do the same.”