Theodore Slate - Apr 30, 2012

The Mediterranean will look to become one of the top tier tourist destinations by 2030. With things already looking good for the Mediterranean Basin; according to the World Tourist Organization, tourist arrivals accounted for more than 300 million. This is a figure that is perceived to be one third of the total population of tourists in 2011 which was estimated to be around 980 million.

Furthermore, tourist revenues for the Mediterranean Basin topped the rest of the world with an average of 190 billion Euros. This is estimated to be 26% the total tourist revenues around the globe, by far the most according to the WTO. The potential of these figures should only be temporary with all the political changes that occurred in 2011.

Tourism is the main issue of economic sustainability around which the Mediterranean countries depend on. An annual growth of tourist arrivals looking to spend money during vacations rose about 3.7% from years 1995 up to 2010. Europeans are slated to be the mainstay tourists arriving at 81%; tourists from the Middle Eastern are next at 6%; American tourists at 6% with Asian and African tourists at 7%.

Among the Mediterranean destinations, France by far tops the list with annual arrivals of 79 million tourists. Due to its very attractive cultural landscape, and major attractions such as the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower located in Paris. France comes first without much doubt. Next is Spain with 57 million tourists, then Italy with 46 million, Turkey with 29 million and Greece with 16 million.

The World Tourist Organization predicts that Mediterranean tourism will explode further. It is expected 500 million tourist arrivals by the year 2030. The figure seems to be a rather fantastic in light of the political unrest in the Middle East and changes in political agendas in Northern Africa where arrivals are down by 31% and 10% respectively.

These changes however are expected to be temporary, with the potential for growth and change in emerging tourist destinations in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Mediterranean will all improve with the change in strategies employed by Tourism sectors.

Tourisms sectors are also inclined to change their strategy to further boost tourist arrivals in their respective areas. Improving products and developing tourist attractions are the way to go. Capitalizing the opportunity with lowered airline costs, developing cultural patterns and improved environmental laws will go a long way towards growth in the tourism sector. Not only that, cultural and natural traditions should be highlighted for added effect. Furthermore, the advancement of technology and the strengthening of regional relationships all throughout the peninsula is a major focus. With this, 500 million tourists should not be an unapproachable figure.

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