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Destination Libya: Developing Libya as an Internationally–Competitive Tourism Destination

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thesis
posted on 15.09.2022, 14:36 authored by Akram Esa Omar Khalifa

Libya is an emerging tourism destination in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Early  efforts  to  encourage  tourism  in  the  1990s  were  re-energised  after  the lifting  of  UN  sanctions  in  2003  following dramatic changes in Libya’s foreign policy. Despite  a  healthy economy,  high  rates  of  unemployment  (30%)  combine  with  a dominant  source  of  income -oil -which  contributes  95%  of  GDP.  Thus  Libya  is considering  tourism for economic  diversification. This  thesis  explores  the  challenges that face Libya in this endeavour and develops a best practice model (SCDM2) to help Libya achieve its ambitions as an internationally-competitive tourism destination.Data  collection  from  key  stakeholders  in  the  Libyan  tourism  product  (government officials,  tour  operators,  hotel  managers,  tourists  and  local  communities)  involved  five qualitative  methods  (focus  group  interviews,  semi-structured  interviews,  document analysis, audio-visual materials and participant observation).Libya is a unique destination with: long untouched coastal beaches; stunning and well-preserved  Roman  and  Greek  antiquities;  amazing  desert  adventure  opportunities;  pre-historic  civilisations;  generous  and  hospitable  people.  Despite  being  very  safe,  Libya has an image problem in the UK: desert; hot; a culture similar to other Arab countries; controlled  by  Qudaffi  who  promotes  anti  western  policies.  The  tourism  industry  faces enormous  challenges,  mostly  related  to  the  absence  of  a  clear  strategy  fortourism development: destination accessibility; poor protection for tourism attractions/antiquities;  weak  human  resource  development,  environmental  and  quality service issues.The  demand  side  of  SCDM2  focuses  on  destination  image.  The  supply  side  addresses destination  elements:  destination  accessibility;  destination  planning  and  management; supporting  resources;  local  communities;  comparative  advantage;  the  significance  of global environment.The   thesis   concludes   that   despite   good   comparative   advantage   there   are   major challenges  to  delivering  appropriately-priced,  high-quality  products  enabling  Libya  to compete  with  other  MENA  destinations  and  makes  a  number  of  recommendations  to Libya’s decision-makers to address the key challenges. 

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School of Management

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Doctoral

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PhD

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