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Gulf Tourism Needs to Offer More Variety in Order to Attract Tourists

Excerpt from Wall Street Journal

Sep 24, 2013 12:30 am

Skift Take

As this report points out, events in the Middle East have created a hole in the tourism market for that region. Expect to see the Gulf countries stepping up their tourism pitches to fill that gap.

— Eliza Ronalds-Hannon

Free Report: The Megatrends Defining Travel in 2015

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An indoor ski slope is one of Dubai's tourist attractions. Paul Fenwick / Flickr


…Not enough is being done, according to consultants Booz & Co…as each country concentrates only on a niche. For Saudi, it’s religious tourism and Oman it’s the beaches, while Qatar and Bahrain try to offer a business-friendly environment, but little else, the consultants say.

However, analysts all agree that given the unrest and insecurity of traditional tourist hotspots in the Middle East, such as Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, the safe-haven status of the Gulf countries throws up a huge opportunity, especially if each market can become popular in its own right.

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