By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 1 August:
Tourist visas issuance has apparently been suspended by the Ministry of Tourism, for reasons that are unclear. It is being said that the situation is unlikely to change until after the end of Ramadan.
Jill Wilson, sales representative for Tripoli-based Libya Travel and Tours, told Libya Herald: “Up until just a few days ago, many foreigners were able to enter Libya on tourist visas. However these have been suspended for the moment, so all travellers must come in on business visas at this point.”
She added: “We hope the issuing of tourist visas will resume with ease once again, hopefully as soon as Ramadan is over, as Libya is only hurting itself in not allowing for tourists to come and go easily from the country.”
Until the end of Ramadan, would-be tourists and tour operators find themselves in a state of limbo.
Experts insist that Libya has immense scope as a tourist destination, offering visitors five UNESCO World Heritage sites and 1,300 miles of stunning coastline. However the emphasis that a consistent visa regime is essential.
“Libya is a beautiful country, with much to see and experience,” Wilson said, “and the tourism sector has great potential for growth here in Libya.”
Tonight Libya Herald was unable to contact the Ministry of Tourism for an explanation of the new visa policy.