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In Libya, one of the largest countries of Africa, the Sahara Desert represents more than 92% of its territories. Beside unique ancient ruins, the Sahara is an important tourist resource with many attractive landmarks. As Libya also has very lucrative revenues from its oil industry, contributing 95% of export earnings, tourism played only a negligible economic role during Muammar Gadhafi’s leadership, contributing less than 1% to the national income. In those times, tourism quality was characterized by complex visa requirements, mercurial regulations, and low-quality tourism services, which made tourism planning for international tour operators difficult.

When desert tourism in Algeria was shocked by the abduction of 32 European tourists in the year 2003, Libya became the leading destination for Sahara tourists in the following years; the ...

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