Submit Press release  eTN Team ·  Advertising  ·  eTN Awards  - Worldtourism Events    

US Tour Operators Optimistic

5-star Corinthia Hotel Tripoli sees new opportunities in US with easing of Libya visa restrictions for Americans

Aug 05, 2010

TRIPOLI, Libya - The luxurious Corinthia Hotel Tripoli, as one of the leading five-star properties in Libya’s capital city, has benefited from the recent growth of business travel from the west. In fact, the Corinthia housed the American embassy for several years following the renewal of diplomatic ties until the new embassy was completed. Now, with Libya fast gaining popularity as an exciting new holiday destination, there is a renewed focus on the American leisure market.

Salvinu Farrell, regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East of the hotel’s operating company CHI Hotels & Resorts, noted that: “The US market offers great potential for Libya because of Americans’ keen interest in archaeology, history, and culture. This, combined with the pent-up demand to explore exciting new destinations still off the beaten track, is yet an un-tapped niche for Libya. Cultural tourists will be drawn by Libya’s amazing five World Heritage sites, and a well-developed desert tourism product is the main attraction for the adventure seekers. But most important for all Libya’s visitors, it is a very safe destination, and everyone feels genuinely welcomed.”

Some US tour operators never stopped promoting Libya even when the restrictions were in place. Ryad Sunusi, president, Los Angeles–based Libya Expeditions, said: “We are extremely pleased about the easing of visa restrictions. We were prepared for this moment, because we continued to attend trades shows throughout the US, even while there were difficulties for Americans to get visas. Now, our fall tours are sold out."

Sunusi attributes much of this interest to the fact that Libya’s archaeological ruins are on a scale of that found in Rome, but still almost untouched. He noted that: “Many of these attractions are only a few hours from Tripoli and can be seen on a one-day excursion.” Only last year, Cyrene was awarded with the prestigious World Tourism Award presented at World Travel Market in London in recognition for Libya's unique approach in establishing an integrated model for North African Archaeological and Heritage Preservation and Management, with an emphasis on the education and training of local nationals for employment in the development and maintenance of this site, and for Engineer Saif Shahat's initiatives taken to ensure the protection of Libya's Heritage Sites and the quality of its tourism.

The California-based Luxury travel company, Travcoa, resumed its tours to Libya following the announcement in May about the easing of the visa restrictions. “The chance for us to offer travel to Libya again this fall means that Travcoa can better meet the sophisticated US travelers’ demand for new, interesting destinations,” said Travcoa president Jerre Fuqua. "Having just returned from a personal scouting trip through Libya, I can assure travelers that the visa and entry process works very smoothly, and the entire Libyan experience, from the food and accommodations to the guides and remarkable historical sites, really exceeded my high expectations.”

Corinthia Hotels has been active in the promotion of tourism to Africa for several years. Glenn Carroll, senior vice president of sales and marketing for CHI Hotels & Resorts, which includes the Corinthia Hotels Luxury Brand, is a board member of the US-based Africa Travel Association (ATA).


The Corinthia Hotel Tripoli, also referred to locally as the Corinthia Bab Africa, is strategically located in the hub of the central business district. The hotel’s two impressive towers that dominate the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea have become a modern landmark in the thriving metropolis that Tripoli has become. The luxuriously-appointed 299 rooms, all of which overlook the sea, include 65 Executive club rooms and 34 Suites. The hotel is very close to the cultural heart of the city and serves as a great base from which to explore the archaeological wonders in the Roman cities of Leptis Magna and Sabratha. Offering first-class service, the Corinthia Hotel Tripoli has set new hospitality standards in the region for both the leisure and business travelers.



The Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna is where the remains of the Phoenician port Lpgy, integrated into the Roman Empire in 46 BC. After Septimus Severus became emperor here (in 193), it became one of the most beautiful cities of the Roman world.


The ancient Greek city of Cyrene is now an archeological site near the village of Shahat. One of its more significant features is the Temple of Apollo which was originally constructed as early as 7th century BC.


Sabratha was a Phoenician trading-post that served as a coastal outlet for the products of the African hinterland. Besides its magnificent late 3rd century theatre that retains its three-story architectural backdrop, Sabratha has temples dedicated to Liber Pater, Serapis, and Isis.


The Rock-art Sites of Tadrart Acacus are located in a desert area in western Libya (part of the Sahara). The area was inscribed as a World Heritage Site because of the importance of its rock paintings and carvings as a testimony to a series of civilizations that have disappeared. It borders the Algerian World Heritage Site Tassili n'Ajjer.


Ghadames is an oasis town and one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities. The old part of the town, which is surrounded by a wall, has been declared World Heritage. Each of the seven clans that used to live in this part of the town had its own district, of which each had a public place where festivals could be held.


Corinthia Hotels is an internationally-acclaimed brand of luxury hotels in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Libya, Malta, Portugal, and Russia. Founded by the Pisani family of Malta in the 1960s, the Corinthia brand stands in that proud tradition of Mediterranean hospitality and its signature services communicate the "Warm smiles, Inspired Flavors, and Pleasant Surprises" of its Maltese heritage. All Corinthia hotels feature state-of-the-art conference areas, extensive leisure and business traveler facilities, and are each renowned for their uniqueness of character. Corinthia Hotels’ portfolio includes the award-winning Corinthia Hotel Budapest in Hungary, Corinthia Hotel Prague in the Czech Republic, Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg in Russia, and Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa in Malta. The portfolio also features the splendid Corinthia Hotel St. George’s Bay in Malta; the superior five-star Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya; and the modern Corinthia Hotel Lisbon in Portugal. The latest addition to the Corinthia Hotels portfolio is the Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place, London – due to open in early 2011.


Based in Malta, CHI Hotels & Resorts is a hotel management company that provides the full range of technical assistance and management services to hotel owners worldwide. CHI is the exclusive operator of the luxury Corinthia Hotels brand, as well as the Wyndham and Ramada Plaza brands in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. CHI draws on a heritage of over 48 years in delivering high-quality services to hotel guests and an optimum rate of return to owners and investors in diverse business environments. CHI’s experience extends to management of luxury and upscale properties in city and resort locations and products ranging from boutique to conference and spa hotels. CHI is owned by International Hotel Investments plc (70 percent) and the Wyndham Hotel Group (30 percent).

5-star Corinthia Hotel Tripoli sees new opportunities in US with easing of Libya visa restrictions for Americans
Corinthia Hotel Tripoli / Photo from The Bradford Group


Premium Partners