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The Impact of Political Instability on the Tourism Sector in the Middle East and North Africa Open Access Deposited

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This study uses fixed effects estimation to empirically model the effect of political instability on tourism to 15 MENA countries. My model reveals that acts of political violence, such as terrorist attacks, do not negatively impact tourism to the region. However, other facets of political instability, such as weak rule of law and frequent human rights abuses in a destination country, do negatively impact tourism to MENA nations. Furthermore, results for regressions using data only from countries located in the greater Levant and Arabian Gulf subregions confirm these findings; however, models that focus on Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco reveal that tourism demand in these North African nations reacts negatively to political violence. This study holds important implications for MENA policymakers and development planners, who must heed the corrosive impact of political instability on tourism, which contributes greatly to the economies of this region.

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