Tourism and the Arab Spring Effect - March 2013
The Arab Spring was essentially an awakening of political consciousness throughout the Middle East, which began at the tail end of 2010 and continues today. Definitions of the Middle East vary; for the purpose of this report it is a collective term used to describe specific countries in South West Asia and extended to include some North African countries.
It begins by providing a broad overview of tourism and its context (including economy, politics and population) in the Middle East. It also examines arrivals in the region and the effect of the Arab uprisings on these, paying particular attention to Bahrain, Syria and the Yemen – countries where demonstrators wanted regime change, but where this has not occurred. The events in Morocco are also considered here.
If defined by revolutionary change, the Arab Spring has been most keenly experienced in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, where the protests did achieve regime change. This report gives an in-depth assessment of how the Arab Spring has affected the tourism industries in these countries, including its impact on international arrivals and tourism expenditure, as well as any opportunities created by the Arab Spring.
There are also examples of destinations that have benefited from the downturn in the number of arrivals to some destinations in the MENA region. Finally, it considers the longer-term prognosis for tourism in the region.
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