Key figures in the travel industry have argued that Libya could be the next country to make the transition from no-go destination to tourism hot spot in the coming years, despite the chaotic recent period that the country has endured. (Featured image is by Luca Galuzzi)
A poll of 1,300 tourism officials revealed that more than half of those surveyed (56 per cent) believed that Libya has all the right ingredients to become a major destination, with just 10 per cent ruling out the idea of Libya as a holiday destination.
“Libya could become one of tourism’s most exciting destinations in the future,” says WTM director Simon Press.
Libya recently took the first tentative steps to putting the desert state back on the tourist map by setting up a promotional stand at World Travel Market (WTM), an influential travel convention held each November at London’s ExCel Centre.
Among Libya’s key attractions is Sabratha, the Phoenician-Roman port located in the far west of the country, and Leptis Magna, a significant outpost during the heyday of the Roman Empire, located 80 miles east of the capital Tripoli. Both of these areas also boast UNESCO World Heritage status.
Despite the optimism surrounding Libya as a future firm fixture on the tourist map, recent travel advice from the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to Zuwara, Az Zawiya, Tripoli, al Khums, Zlitan and Misrata, and the coastal towns from Ras Lanuf to the Egyptian Border, with the exception of Benghazi.
Earlier this year, Thomson cruises announced that it was launching new routes for its 2013 voyages that will take in former no-go destinations including Algiers (Algeria), the Ukraine and Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.