Hotelier Stresses on Need to Promote Tourism Services in Arab Nations

ABU DHABI - There is a need to enhance tourism services in Arab countries, as tourism is one of the important industries contributing to the Arab world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), said Saeed Ahmed Mohammed bin Butti, chairman of Al Dhiafa Holding and Jinan Hotels and Resorts.

By Lily B. Libo-on

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Published: Thu 23 Jul 2009, 12:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 8:00 PM

Attracting Arab tourists is the key. “This depends on diversifying tourism services, which are no longer exclusive to visiting museums and historical places, but also include religious tourism, medical tourism, tourism for relaxation purposes, sports tourism, education and art tourism, and touring for festivals and conferences,” he said.

Tourists look at a Dubai city map in a tour bus onTuesday.“Therefore, the need to promote Arab tourism also arises, especially when we look at the difference between the percentage of international tourists and Arab tourists, who constitute only 2.5 per cent of the overall, which is a really small figure if we take into consideration the region’soutstanding tourism features, such as superb location; historical, educational and urban heritage; state-of-the-art infrastructure; and basic services that are at parwith the highest international standards. “Arab tourism is the main source of tourism income, as the Arab tourist spends more and stays longer.”

That’s why it should be promoted by providing a perfect setting for investments, facilitating movement of Arab assets, facilitating travel between Arab countries, and facilitating the issuing of visas. The International Travel and Tourism Council expects the tourism sector to provide 10.5 million job opportunities (10.1 per cent of the total workforce) in MENA countries in 2009.

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