Danis, Omer Molood (2006) The development of the tourism industry in Libya. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Libya is a country with a rich heritage in terms of culture, archaeological and historical
sites, and a long Mediterranean coastline of sandy beaches. However, unlike the
neighbouring countries of Tunisia and Egypt, which have similar attractions and which
have capitalised upon these to develop successful tourist industries, Libya has not
devoted its efforts to expand in this area, and this is partly a reflection of the fact that
Libya has been an oil economy for the last forty years, and there has been no real need
to attempt diversification of the economy on a grand scale; and partly a result of the
political isolation of Libya as a result of UN and US sanctions. However, in recent
years, the overreliance
on oil revenues, and the potential of tourism to contribute
substantially towards the economy, have encouraged the government to look towards
tourism as a way to sustain the economy in the long term, and consequently, moves
have been made to launch Libya as a tourist destination, especially since the lifting of
the international sanctions mentioned.
This study has focused on the efforts to date by Libya to refocus its economic strategy,
and after reviewing the relevant literature, the researcher constructed three research
instruments for use during fieldwork in Libya with different populations, in an attempt
to establish the current status of the Libyan tourism industry. A questionnaire survey to
establish demographic information about international tourists, and levels of satisfaction
with the Libyan tourism product overall, was carried out with 282 tourists to Libya. An
interview exercise was conducted with tourism administrators, and two indepth
interviews were held with the UnderSecretary
of State for Tourism Affairs, and the
of State for Education and Training Affairs, respectively.
The tourist data was analysed using SPSS and crosstabulations
were performed in
order to identify the background of tourists (country of origin, age, sex, tourist
behaviour) and their predispositions and opinions, by sex and age, on a range of
dimensions within the two broader aspects of Accommodation, and Tourism
Attractions. The findings reveal that women in general are less critical of Libya’s
tourism product than men, and that tourists in the older age groups, who have a greater
experience of travel, are more realistic in their expectations of what a developing
country can offer to tourists. However, whilst Libya has immense potential as a tourist
destination, with the possibility of offering several different tourist products, thereby being of interest to various market segments, it is currently unable to pursue these
opportunities because of shortcomings in tourist infrastructure, in particular its lack of
accommodation, tourist information, and service quality. What is currently being
delivered to tourists is a substandard
product which begins and ends with bureaucratic
procedures at entry/exit points to the country, and which is characterised by an
experience in between that reflects the lack of planning.
The thesis concludes that a proper planning framework, which includes appropriate
levels of investment, is necessary for a tourism industry in Libya to thrive and
contribute towards the economy to the extent that the government hopes, and envisages.

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