Middle East

Egypt Is Finally Seeing Some Good Tourism News

Egypt Is Finally Seeing Some Good Tourism News

Mirette Magdy, Bloomberg

No word yet on tourism numbers, but increased spending — especially at these levels — is an excellent signal for the country. Now it just needs to prevent another relapse into violence and political self sabotage.

1 week ago

Saudi Arabia Tourism at Center of Development Plans But It Will Be a Tough Sell

Saudi Arabia Tourism at Center of Development Plans But It Will Be a Tough Sell

Sarah Algethami, Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia has seen its Middle East neighbors diversify away from oil. That makes sense, but it's not clear the country's leaders will be able to turn it into a tourist destination. One problem — as an expert says in this story — is the country's restrictions on alcohol and dress.

1 week ago

Qatar Ends Tourist Visa Requirements for 80 Nationalities to Combat Growing Isolation

Qatar Ends Tourist Visa Requirements for 80 Nationalities to Combat Growing Isolation

Associated Press

Qatar is facing a real crisis and it is doing everything in its power, including spurring tourism, to combat the Saudi-led coalition's aggressive tactics.

2 weeks ago

Egyptian Hotel Projects Attract Large Investment From Saudi Billionaire

Egyptian Hotel Projects Attract Large Investment From Saudi Billionaire

Tamim Elyan, Bloomberg

The investment is a vote of confidence in Egyptian tourism, which has been battered in recent years.

2 weeks ago

Saudi Arabia Tourism to Debut Eased Dress Restrictions in Red Sea Resort Area

Saudi Arabia Tourism to Debut Eased Dress Restrictions in Red Sea Resort Area

Aya Batrawy, Associated Press

The heir to the throne in Saudi Arabia wants to loosen things up for tourists in a specific destination on the Red Sea. It's a welcome step and a sign of tentative changes although it is bound to be very controversial within Saudi Arabia.

3 weeks ago

Israel Looks to Food Tourism to Attract a Different Kind of Visitor

Israel Looks to Food Tourism to Attract a Different Kind of Visitor

Dan Peltier, Skift

Israel doesn’t really have a problem bringing in visitors. But bringing visitors who are not driven by religious beliefs is a challenge. Diversifying the country through food could help convince some travelers that a trip here is worth it.

4 weeks ago

UNESCO Labels Hebron as a Palestinian Heritage Site in Danger

UNESCO Labels Hebron as a Palestinian Heritage Site in Danger

Associated Press

Hebron has sites considered holy to both Muslims and Jews. The UNESCO determination will put new focus on Hebron as a heritage destination and on the tinder box that is the Palestine-Israel conflict.

2 months ago

Lebanon Tourism Sees a Rebound in Shadow of Regional Turmoil

Lebanon Tourism Sees a Rebound in Shadow of Regional Turmoil

Philip Issa, Associated Press

This is wonderful news for Lebanon, which has been wracked by instability and internal turmoil for years. The country hasn't returned to its glory days of tourism in the 1950s and 1960s but we'll take it.

2 months ago

Etihad and Emirates Suspend Flights to Qatar as Gulf State Rift Grows

Etihad and Emirates Suspend Flights to Qatar as Gulf State Rift Grows

Associated Press

It is quite rich for Saudi Arabia to claim other states support terrorism. Perhaps now the big three U.S. carriers can stop making equally ironic claims about subsidies and just watch the Gulf carriers fight each other?

3 months ago

Turkey Tourism Makes Slight Turnaround After Year of Russian Tensions

Turkey Tourism Makes Slight Turnaround After Year of Russian Tensions

Onur Ant, Bloomberg

Turkey's tourism troubles extend far beyond its issues with Russia and average daily rates for hotels are still very low.

3 months ago

Egyptian Officials Are Optimistic Tourism Woes Are on the Mend This Year

Egyptian Officials Are Optimistic Tourism Woes Are on the Mend This Year

Maria Sheahan, Reuters

Investment in security at airports and tourist attractions are a good first step in showing tourists that Egypt is ready for them. But any unrest elsewhere in the Middle East this year will be a factor in how many tourists visit Egypt.

6 months ago

Banksy-Designed West Bank Hotel Shows Art Meeting Politics

Banksy-Designed West Bank Hotel Shows Art Meeting Politics

Nebi Qena, Associated Press

Banksy has become one of the most fascinating artists-slash-tourist-magnets in modern times. If this property indeed operates like a typical hotel, we expect demand will push rates far above $30 a night.

6 months ago