Can this be spring? Assessing the impact of the "Arab Spring" on the Arab tourism industry

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The socio-political unrest known as the "Arab Spring" has left its imprint on the tourism sector of the Arab region. This paper explores first the effects of the Arab Spring on the macro-tourism performance of selected Arab countries, both oil and non-oil, using official tourism and macro-economic statistical data. Subsequently, it examines the policies and strategies adopted by the Arab governments in order to mitigate the evolving tourism crisis in the non-oil Arab states. Finally, it examines the relationships between the Non-oil and GCC countries with respect to the tourism trends characterizing the Arab World since the outbreak of the, so-called, Arab Spring. It concluded that the tourism "pain" of the non-oil Arab countries became the "gain" of the GCC countries, which have been perceived by both intra-regional and international tourists as safer to visit. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the future tourism prospects for both the non-oil and the GCC countries. Assuming that the socio-political unrest accompanied by safety and security threat to tourists in some of the non-oil Arab countries will prevail at least in the foreseeable future, the paper points at further research directions in order to monitor these future trends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-223
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Arab spring
  • Macro-economic tourism performance
  • Tourism crises

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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