University of Oulu

Seyfi. S & Hall, C.M (2021). Cultural heritage tourism in the MENA: introduction and background. In Hall. C.M. & Seyfi. S (Eds.). Cultural and Heritage Tourism in the Middle East and North Africa. (pp. 1-33). Abingdon: Routledge.

Cultural heritage tourism in the MENA : introduction and background

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Author: Seyfi, Siamak1; Hall, C. Michael1,2,3,4
Organizations: 1Geography, University of Oulu, Finland
2Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand
3Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden
4Department of Service Management and Service Studies, Lund University, Helsingborg, Sweden
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-03-29


The Middle East and Sorth Africa (MENA) is a large, complex, and diverse region and is viewed as a huge centre of cultural and travel influence. Nevertheless, the region has been plagued by geopolitical tensions, political turmoil, instability, and conflict over the decades. The conflict-ridden and controversial image of the region in many tourism-generating markets has negatively affected the flow of tourists to the region and hindered the development of tourism despite its wealth of cultural heritage endowments, a climate conducive to tourism, and leisure resources. More recently, in the aftermath of the ‘Arab Spring’ and the advent of Islamic extremism and fundamentalism, cultural heritage in parts of the region has been placed at risk and has witnessed large-scale devastation, destruction, and looting. The latter has stressed the urgency for post-conflict reconstruction in the Middle East context. The introductory chapter provides an introduction and background to the MENA region from a geographical and historical perspective in general and the cultural and heritage tourism in the region in particular and the challenges it faces. It will also outline the development of tourism in the MENA region and identify key issues in the region with links to the chapters in the book.

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Series: Contemporary geographies of leisure, tourism, and mobility
ISSN: 2574-9323
ISSN-E: 2574-9331
ISSN-L: 2574-9323
ISBN: 978-0-429-27906-5
ISBN Print: 978-0-367-23271-9
Pages: 1 - 33
DOI: 10.4324/9780429279065-1
Host publication: Cultural and heritage tourism in the Middle East and North Africa : complexities, management and practices
Host publication editor: Hall, C. Michael
Seyfi, Siamak
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 520 Other social sciences
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Cultural and Heritage Tourism in the Middle East and North Africa on 29 September 2020, available online