Libya attempts to attract travellers; authorities in tourist drive in wake of civil war

by Alister POOLE on November 5, 2012

Authorities in Libya have been looking to reignite their country’s tourism industry after close to two years of unrest.

The North African nation, which still remains off-limits to UK travellers by the Foreign Office, is one of the more unusual destinations that have been showcased at this year’s World Travel Market, the holiday trade show that opened at London’s ExCeL venue this morning. Surprisingly, the efforts have been well received up to now.

From a survey of over 1,300 tourism chiefs that attended the conference, over half stated a belief that Libya has the potential to be a popular tourist holiday spot. Only one in 10 dismissed the idea entirely.

World Travel Market director Simon Press commented that Libya could become one of the world of tourism’s most exciting destinations and pointed to countries such as Vietnam and Croatia, which have both managed to reposition themselves from being conflict zones to popular hotspots. Over time, Press concluded, there is no reason why Libya can’t follow suit.

Before the civil war, the country was renowned for ancient ruins, with those found at Leptis Magna – which is one of Libya’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites – perhaps the best known. As it is only 80 miles from Tripoli, the former Roman city is easily accessible.

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