Twenty-first-century hikers are boosting tourism along ancient trails in the Middle East, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2016, in association with Euromonitor International, released today (Tuesday 8 November) at World Travel Market London.
With several destinations in the Middle East dealing with turmoil and instability, the trend for trails is also helping to spread a message of peace and tolerance.
Many of these trails are centuries old, but are seeing a resurgence in popularity, the report states, as hikers are exploring the region’s history, religions, culture and rural communities.
Key trails include the Nativity Path in Palestine; Abraham’s Path from Turkey to Egypt; the Jordan trail; and Lebanon’s mountain trail.
“While security can be a concern, local communities that are invested in the growth of tourism are ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for tourists, sending out a “message of peace, hope and reconciliation,” says the report.
“Some of the trails go across country borders, offering visitors a more varied trip, as well as fostering stronger relationships between neighbouring tourism organisations.”
Furthermore, with trails wending their way through remote, rural communities, the trend is generating income for women involved in providing home stays.
Tourism infrastructure is minimal in many places along these routes, which means that home stays are often the only lodging opportunity.
Michel Awad, Director of the Siraj Centre – which aims to promote responsible tourism in Palestine – said: “Hiking the Masar Ibrahim or the Nativity Trail in Palestine enables tourists to walk through history, as well as bringing change and opportunities to rural communities who have never encountered tourism before.”
Euromonitor International’s Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “Many sites in the Middle East are facing very challenging times, so we’re glad to see some positive news from the region for a change.
“The marketing of these trails is proving to be a surprising success with wider implications beyond the tourism trade, as they help spread a message of peace and fostering cultural exchanges.”
World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “This is a very encouraging trend and there is plenty of potential for further developments.
“Home stays currently offer most of the accommodation, but in future we could see luxury lodges and glamping, which would further widen the appeal of these trails.”
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).
World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM London.
WTM London is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM London will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with more than 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together more than seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.
About Euromonitor International
Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have more than 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets.
To receive your free 2016 WTM Global Trends Report copy, please register here: http://go.euromonitor.com/WTM-London-2016.html