The Great Potential of Arab Tourism Destinations

23 June 2017

This month we published Tourism in the Arab World edited by Hamed Almuhrzi, Hafidh Alriyami and Noel Scott. In this post Hamed explains the inspiration behind the book and outlines its main themes.

The socioeconomic changes in a number of emerging economies, including Arab countries, have enabled many people from these countries to travel. In 2015, The United Nations World Tourism Organization reported that in 2014 this region was among the fastest growing regions in terms of travel total contribution to GDP (gross domestic product). Arab tourism destinations and markets hold great potential for the tourism business; however, it appears that we know little about them.

When I started my PhD study, one of the difficulties I faced was finding literature that discussed aspects of the tourism industry within Arab countries. There was a clear scarcity in research on planning, management and marketing of Arab destinations, or on understanding Arab tourists’ behaviours and dispositions. Through conversations with colleagues, it became clear that there is a need to establish and promote a dialogue on issues that concern the Arab tourism industry and bring tourism-related discussion to the attention of international tourism literature.

The existing tourism literature seems to be confused on many issues when it comes to discussing Arab tourism phenomena. Tourism in the Arab World introduces tourism researchers to such issues. Questions such as ‘What is the Arab World?’, or ‘Who is an Arab?’ are discussed and we address how this has further implications for tourism studies. In addition, the image of Arab destinations has been associated with various risk perceptions within international tourism literature – mainly the political crisis that many Arab destinations have been witnessing and the way they have been portrayed through the international media. This volume highlights this issue and provides recommendations for dealing with it for tourism marketing organisations and tourism researchers/practitioners. It also discusses whether the generalisation of risk perceptions is justified.

From an outsider’s perspective, Arab countries seem to be perceived similarly. However, various chapters within this volume emphasise that it is important to be careful of putting all Arab destinations in the same basket when it comes to issues such as tourism development, planning or structure of the industry. It was apparent throughout the discussion that Arab tourism destinations vary in their approaches. The discussion has pinpointed several concerns that tourism researchers and practitioners need to be aware of, such as the impact of Islam, culture and the political structure of each destination, and how these factors contribute to the development of tourism in each country.

While the book tries to stimulate discussion on various tourism issues that concern Arab destinations and market, it focuses more on business aspects of the tourism industry. Hence, there are four overall themes covered in this volume:

  • Tourism policy, organisation and planning
  • Tourism product development
  • Destination marketing
  • Arab consumer behaviour

Throughout these themes, tourism researchers and practitioners can appreciate differences and complications when it comes to dealing with emerging Arab tourism destinations, which in return provide more thoughts for discussion.

For more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism in the Middle East edited by Rami Farouk Daher.


Book launch at the World Travel Market

14 November 2014
All three editors speaking at the launch

All three editors speaking at the launch

Last week I attended the World Travel Market in London to attend a book launch for a couple of our recent titles. Dimitrios Buhalis, one of the editors of Trends in European Tourism Planning and Organisation and European Tourism Planning and Organisation Systems, organised a launch event for the books after the Tourism Futures Forum. All three editors of the books, Carlos Costa, Emese Panyik and Dimitrios Buhalis, attended the event as well as several chapter authors.

The co-editors with some of the contributors

The co-editors with some of the contributors

The tourism planning books are key titles from our Aspects of Tourism series and it was a great opportunity to showcase the books to a new audience. Two of the editors travelled from Portugal to be there and other authors came from the Czech Republic and Sweden. There were several short presentations giving the audience a taste of the book and introducing the main topics.

The Tourism Futures Forum was also an interesting opportunity to hear what industry professionals as well as leading tourism academics saw as the key trends for the future of tourism. Channel View author Ian Yeoman (author of 2050 – Tomorrow’s Tourism) whose main area of research is the future of tourism started off the forum which discussed various developments in tourism such as the use of technology on holiday, the search for ‘authenticity’ in foreign countries and businesses such as airbnb.

The Mexico stand at WTM

The Mexico stand at WTM

The World Travel Market is a key event for the travel industry and is attended by many thousands of travel professionals. All countries are represented and there are many spectacular displays exhibiting the attractions of many different destinations.

For more information about the books please see our website:
Trends in European Tourism Planning and Organisation
European Tourism Planning and Organisation Systems

Elinor

Trends in European Tourism Planning and Organisation

European Tourism Planning and Organisation Systems


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