The Unpredictable Region – Political and Social Change in North Africa and the Near/Middle East
Perspectives and challenges for the touristic source markets in German speaking countries

Three and a half years after the onset of the “Arab Spring“, the situation in a large and important tourism region is increasingly unclear. The problems and clashes of interest within and between individual states are highly complex.
Political and social change accompanied by unrest and violent conflict but also internal conflicts waged with militant means have negatively affected tourism. Most of the destinations are severely affected, such as Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan as well as Israel and Palestine – others hardly or not at all, for the time being, such as Morocco, Turkey, or Iran.
Crises and insecurities have always existed in this region. But the negative impacts on tourism usually did not last for long. Now this might be different. A rapid and sustainable stabilisation of region cannot be expected. The political systems of the individual countries and their relations among each other will change, power balances will shift.
At the moment, the perspectives and challenges for the touristic source markets are difficult to calculate. For example, according to the Reiseanalyse (travel analysis), for the North African region the German holiday market still generated about 700.000 main holiday trips less in 2013 than in 2010, the year before the Arab Spring. The interest of German tourists in Egypt has stagnated since 2012 at a significantly lower level. With regard to the interest in Tunisia, there are indications for an increase in early 2014.
This year’s Ammerlander Talk wants to reflect on the past and present political and social developments and look at possible future scenarios.

Andreas Stopp, Journalist, Deutschlandfunk

Speakers and Statements
Prof. Dr. Dietmar Herz
„Lines in the sand“ – The dissolution of the post-Ottoman order in Northern Africa and the Near and Middle East
Dr. Sylke Tempel
Why is peace in the Near East so difficult?
Rüdiger Tramsen
We can’t go there now, can we? How customers and tour operators deal with the crisis region Near East
Ursula Reinert
Is there really political and social change in Northern Africa and the Near/Middle East? Are the countries already in a position to introduce democratic systems?
Yadel Oskan
Europeans will soon understand Northern Africa and the Middle East just as well as they understand Spain, Italy, and Greece