*The Libyan tourism industry has ground to a halt.
No tourism visas are being granted to travelers, and the US State Department has evacuated the embassy in Tripoli after suspending diplomatic relations with the government of Moammar Gaddafi. Major cities are considered extremely dangerous for foreign travelers. The most popular tourist destinations are essentially unreachable. Libya Travel & Tours has stopped all tours in the country.
Libya Travel & Tours estimates the small yet flourishing tourism industry has suffered a setback of at least five years. The development of large new resorts and hotels has slowed or stopped completely, particularly in Tripoli, where NATO airstrikes have been a regular occurrence. In eastern Libya fighting in the early weeks of the conflict left many cities and towns heavily damaged.
Amidst this chaotic situation and tragic loss of life, Libya Travel & Tours sees several signs which give us hope for the future. The irreplaceable ruins of Roman and Greek cities found along the Mediterranean coast, such as Leptis Magna and Cyrene, have been spared from the fighting, and remain in pristine condition.
When the conflict ends and the tourism industry begins to recover, the extraordinary natural features of the Libyan desert will have been untouched. Sights such as Green Mountain, the Ubari Sand Sea, and the Rock Art of the Acacus Mountains are unlike any others in the world, and we expect tourists will be eager to travel to them once again. Additionally, prices will be far lower for travelers once the conflict has ended.
In essence, we are optimistic for the future of the Libyan tourism industry and the country itself.
While this conflict has had repercussions within Libya and around the world, the future is bright for Libyans and tourists alike.