Many of those companies still remain and must surely be eager to re-build Libya’s tourism infrastructure. Indeed one agency, Sherwas Travel, began advertising a 3-day post-war tour within hours of Gaddafi’s death.
The same applies to international tourism & travel providers who had been taking travellers to Libya. Quite a few airlines like British Airways, the Lufthansa group (bmi, Lufthansa, Austrian), Alitalia, Air Algerie & Air Malta and hotel operators like Corinthia, Radisson, InterContinental, Sheraton and Movenpick, had been developing their presence in Libya and will be eager to get back and start work again. I count almost 20 tour operators from the UK alone, who were taking Brits to Libya before the war started.
Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan has already said he is planning three flights a week to Tripoli as soon as the NATO no-fly zone is lifted.
So, once the infrastructure is in place (embassies, visa arrangements, border controls, airport and port services) or maybe even before (see our post on travel to dangerous places), should bloggers be pioneering travel to Libya?
Put it another way. If not bloggers, who?
Sure, the traditional media will cover it when it seems safe for tourists to go again, with maybe one feature each, covering the popular sites and activities, but bloggers can be in there first and reporting detailed up-to-date information on a much wider scale. Even hunting down new places to go and things to do in Libya.
It feels like a win, win, win situation. Bloggers can satisfy their wanderlust, first footfalling in a country that has been off-limits for a year, would be travellers can find accurate information about travelling to Libya, and the Libyan tourist industry can be helped back on its feet providing jobs for cooks, waiters, guides, drivers, etc and foreign revenue for the country.
Who’s up for it?
Image: Steve Rideout