These cities and countries have taken radical decisions to attract tourists

If certain destinations such as Barcelona, ​​Amsterdam or Venice are overwhelmed by mass tourism, others, on the contrary, are intensifying their efforts to attract foreign visitors. Overview.

There is a small rebellion in the United Arab Emirates. In early January, the wealthy emirate announced that it was abolishing its 30% tax on alcohol sales, as well as the mandatory license fee for anyone who wants to buy alcohol in Dubai. The purpose of such an event? Attract more tourists to Dubai than any other country in the Gulf region. “With the abolition of 30% council tax and a free liquor license, buying your favorite drinks is now easier and cheaper than ever,” said MMI, one of Dubai’s two main liquor suppliers. However, 5% VAT will continue to apply.

“The move should further boost Dubai’s appeal to tourists and expatriate residents, drawn by a more liberal lifestyle than other Gulf cities,” Reuters notes. In a country where 90% of the population is foreigners, it is now possible to buy alcohol in several cities of the city-state during the holy month of Ramadan.

For many tourists, safety is an important criterion in choosing their vacation destination. The Chilean port city of Valparaiso has understood this issue well. To prevent security problems in the “Paradise Valley”, the municipality plans to create a special police force to protect tourists, Courrier International reports, citing the Chilean media Meganoticias. “In terms of tourism, it’s the effort we have to make to make sure people come and say, ‘I had a great time.’ [et] “We are ready to repeat the experience,” said Valparaiso Mayor Jorge Sharp. To realize his idea, the Regional Tourism Chamber of Valparaiso wants to rely on the experiences of Buenos Aires or Mexico City. accepted this idea.

Valparaiso wants ‘tourism police’ (Credit: Getty Images)

What if Saudi Arabia becomes the next trendy tourist destination? The country aims to attract 100 million foreign visitors in 2030 (compared to only 4 million in 2021) in order to diversify its economy, which is mainly based on the oil sector. The ultra-conservative Kingdom expects tourism to contribute 10% of GDP (up from 3% currently). In order to achieve its goals, Saudi Arabia primarily uses careful communication and hosts numerous sports competitions (Formula 1 GP, Dakar, Spanish Super Cup, etc.) to promote the country as a new tourist destination. .

Saudi Arabia targets 100 million tourists by 2030 (Credit: Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia targets 100 million tourists by 2030 (Credit: Getty Images)

The largest emirate in the Gulf by size has realized its great backwardness and offered the services of Lionel Messi as the country’s “tourism ambassador”. “I am delighted to welcome Lionel Messi to Saudi Arabia. We look forward to sharing with you the treasures of the Red Sea, the season of Jeddah and our ancient history. This is not his first visit to the Kingdom and it will not be his last,” said Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khatib on Twitter last May. In addition to sports, its Vision 2030 plan envisages the development of more than 35 unique places by 2030.

If Greece is already a leading destination for world tourism in spring and summer, it is no less disappointing when winter comes. Because when the blue sky gives way to gray, vacationers turn away from Athens and the countless islands of Greece. The Greek peninsula has launched an extensive communication campaign from November to March to attract tourists to present itself as a winter holiday destination.

“Greece wants to become a year-round (holiday) destination from just a summer destination (of the ‘sea, sun and sand’ type),” Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias told AFP. Geo. To add with a sense of regret: “So far, in the winter months, northern Europeans go mostly to the south-west of Europe: Spain, Mallorca, Marbella, Gran Canaria or Portugal. “.

The minister has already visited several European capitals, including Paris and Berlin, to promote the charm of the Greek islands in winter. Athens spent 20 million euros for this campaign, which mainly targets pensioners.

Athens and the Acropolis in the snow (Credit: Getty Images)

Athens and the Acropolis in the snow (Credit: Getty Images)

Have you always dreamed of riding a horse in the Mongolian steppes? Enjoy it. In order to attract more tourists to its land, the country, sandwiched between the two giants Russia and China, has decided to ease the entry formalities for travelers from 34 countries, including France. Thus, the Mongolian authorities exempt French travelers from visas until the end of 2025. On the other hand, it is still mandatory to have a passport valid for at least six months after the planned departure from the country.

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