Tourist Containment

by Susan Slyomovics
published in MER196

One tourism strategy in the Middle East is the cordon sanitaire or containment model. Tourist activities are limited to specific areas -- what Algeria and Tunisia call “zones touristiques.” Club Med in Egypt is outside Hurghada, on the Red Sea coast. In Algeria, every worker at the hotel complex at Sidi Ferruj, west of Algiers, happily informed me that the site was chosen by the government to mark the place where the French first landed in 1830. Algeria also promotes “nature” tourism to the Sahara, making it possible to fly directly from Europe to Tamanrasset in the Algerian interior and completely bypass the populated coastal region.

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The Middle East on the Edge of the Pleasure Periphery

by Robert Vitalis
published in MER196

Thomas Cook and Sons’ first tour excursions in 1841 mark the birth of a global industry, in a decade that also included the founding of the Cunard Lines and the Wells Fargo successor, American Express. Cook began to internationalize its operations in the 1860s, creating the first package tours for England’s consumers and turning southern Egypt into one of the original resorts of the rich and famous.

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Policing the Illicit Peripheries of Egypt's Tourism Industry

by Laleh Behbehanian
published in MER216

Tourist destinations are never simply reducible to the sun, sand and sea they offer. The lucrative international trade associated with Third World tourism involves packaging and marketing areas of the world that are most devastated by contemporary economic conditions, essentially creating landscapes of paradise out of realities of poverty. The case of Dahab, a small coastal town in South Sinai, Egypt, offers an example of the processes and power dynamics involved in the production of tourist spaces. What are the political, economic, cultural and moral forces that shape Dahab? Who are the players involved in shaping this local site of tourism, and what are the interests at stake?

Resettling, Reconstructing and Restor(y)ing

Archaeology and Tourism in Umm Qays

by Laurie A. Brand
published in MER216

The old village of Umm Qays, Jordan, is strategically lo
cated to the south of the Golan Heights, overlooking 
the northern part of the Jordan Valley and the southern shore of Lake Tiberias. Biblical Gadara and subsequently one of the cities of the Decapolis in antiquity, it attracts modest numbers of both foreign and Jordanian tourists. From the mid-twentieth century on, Umm Qays residents increasingly abandoned farming for work in the civil service and the army, and a new village began to develop adjacent to the original village.

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