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Arab Tourism Card May Replace Passport

altMarch 28- During a meeting of the Arab Tourism Organization in Alexandria Egypt, a proposal was raised to create electronic ID cards containing traveler’s biometric information, which would one day be used in place of traditional passports.  The new cards would benefit the tourism sector because it will allow people to travel more freely within and between Arab countries in the region. 

Tourism is becoming a more important sector of the economy as Arab countries work towards diversifying their economy. Gulf countries aim to make the tourism sector a key component of the economy, not just a fringe sector. Tourists from the Gulf region tend to be big spenders in comparison to those from the United States and Europe, so an ID card to make travel more convenient in the region, would boost the tourism industry.  Kuwait in 2008 began accepting the ‘Gulf Smart Card’ – a common passport for citizens of GCC countries (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the UAE).
 

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