Easier Visas Lead to Tourism Growth and Increased GDP

HVS and the Abraham Accords Peace Institute analyse the affects of easier visa procedures on tourism growth and the subsequent increase in a country's GDP.
Russell Kett

The Abraham Accords (AA) opened the door to warm peace and full relations between Israel and several of its Arab neighbours. An analysis conducted by HVS, in partnership with the Abraham Accords Peace Institute (AAPI), indicates that improved visa procedures would expand the movement of tourists among AA member nations, resulting in potential economic growth and stronger people-to-people ties. The reduction in barriers to increased tourism is an integral component in enabling regional trade and economic partnerships.

While hundreds of thousands of Israelis have visited Accords member countries, relatively few citizens of these countries have visited Israel since the signing of the historic peace agreements. There are several factors contributing to the relatively small number of such visits. This paper examines one of these factors: the visa process and requirements for travellers from Abraham Accords and other Middle Eastern countries wishing to visit Israel. It provides recommendations, including the implementation of an eVisa policy, which can lead to an increase in Abraham Accords visitors to Israel, thereby helping to realize the great potential of the tourism sector for contributing to mutually beneficial cooperation and peace.


In general, countries which have a more traveller-friendly policy regarding entry visas benefit from expanded tourist growth, which has a positive effect on their GDP.

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About Russell Kett

Russell Kett is Chairman of the London office of HVS, which he joined in 1995. He has 45 years’ specialist hotel consultancy, investment and real estate experience, focused on providing valuation, feasibility, shared ownership, property, brokerage, investment, asset management, strategy and related consultancy services, advising hotel companies, banks, developers and investors on all aspects of their hospitality industry related interests, throughout the EMEA region. Russell is a frequent writer, moderator and speaker on the international hotel industry, especially topics relating to hotel valuation, investment, marketing and finance. For more information, contact: [email protected]


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