Middle East: Development Through Travel
The Middle East is a frequent news headline these days. Unfortunately, much of the press has not been positive. How do we juxtapose the region's enormous growth in the travel sector with its often negative reputation? Middle Eastern hospitality experts tackled this issue in the last panel of the World Savers Congress.
* Qatar has budgeted $100 billion (that's right, billion) toward new infrastructure over the next six years.
* Egypt was the world's first producer of beer and wine (sorry, Europe).
* More than 50 percent of visitors to the Middle East come from outside the region, with the greatest majority hailing from the United States.
The consensus among the panelists was that we are far more similar than we are different. And despite cultural differences, travel is the one force that connects us. As Mounir Neamatalla of Environmental Quality International said, "The natural tendency of humans is to include, to relate. We are a social animal."