(MENAFN - Arab News) Western European residents will receive promotional material from Yemen this September as the country tries to convince more tourists to visit.
The Yemeni Tourist Promotion Council has decided to start its promotional campaign in France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom next month before approaching people living in the neighboring Gulf countries, local Yemeni media has reported.
Yemen is on the one hand known for its historic buildings in the capital Sanaa and spectacular nature but it is also one of the poorest countries in the world.
Tourism provides a vital source of foreign capital for Yemen, but tourist kidnappings are not unheard of. In March 2009, four South Korean tourists were killed in an explosion while posing for a photo in a region known as a haven to rebel groups.
According to the Yemeni Ministry of Tourism 1.1 million tourists visited Yemen in 2009, of those 70 percent came from the Gulf.
Mohamed Shaif, director of Yamanat Tours in Sanaa told The Media Line that the Yemeni government has made efforts to attract more tourists, but its not enough, he explained.
The most important thing is security, if the tourists feel safe they will come, he said. This is whats important, not only promotion but security.
Ibrahim Al-Attab, managing director of Yemen Explorers Com in the capital said that tourism was up, but added that he was worried not everyone could afford travel to Yemen with the economic downturn.
The local tourism is increasing, Al-Attab said. Before people only came for one day, but now they stay overnight because there are good hotels and good facilities.
Now there is a new directive that all restaurants have to provide separate toilets for men and women, Al-Attab said. This is very important because you want to feel safe when you travel.
By Adam Gonn