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Libya: a tourism hotspot?

A view of Tripoli, Libya.

A view of Tripoli, Libya.

Global travel trade show World Travel Market (WTM) opened in London yesterday with 157 new exhibitors including hitherto strife-torn Libya.

Many destinations such as Vietnam and Croatia have repositioned from conflict zones to tourism hotspots

More than half (56 per cent) of the 1,300 global tour chiefs surveyed by WTM said Libya had the potential to become a top tourist spot.

But 10 per cent dismissed the idea of the North African country ever becoming a holiday destination.

At the 33rd annual event, held at the ExCeL exhibition centre in London, the Libya Export Promotion Centre is showcasing its country’s attractions, alongside Libyan hotels and cultural tour and desert safari specialists.

WTM director Simon Press said: “Libya could be one of tourism’s most exciting destinations in the future. Many destinations such as Vietnam and Croatia have repositioned from conflict zones to tourism hotspots, and there is no reason why, over time, Libya cannot do the same.”

Other new exhibitors include San Marino, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Meanwhile, the Romanian National Tourist Office is alleging links between British royalty and one of the most notorious historic figures to boost UK visitors.

It claimed the British royal family can trace its ancestry back to Vlad the Impaler, the tyrant who inspired the Count Dracula legend.

What is certain is that the Prince of Wales’s great-grandfather’s cousin, Marie, married the crown prince of Romania and went on to rule the eastern European country after World War I.

Around 48,000 people are expected to attend the four-day event.

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