If Libya's spectacular Roman ruins were located anywhere else in the world, they would be thronged with tourists. But for most travelers, the ruins might as well have been on the moon. Because of the pro-democracy uprising against Col. Moammar Gadhafi that began in early 2011, many areas of the country have been unavailable to visitors because of travel restrictions.

The country is now under the leadership of the National Transitional Council, and following the death of Gadhafi in October 2011, the country is happy to begin a new era. Perhaps those gorgeous ruins will be crowded with travelers sometime soon. Travelers will be attracted by the impressive ancient monuments and cities—in equally impressive seaside locations—the timeless splendor and tranquility of the desert, and the warm climate.

Libya recently announced an ambitious goal to attract 1.5 million tourists annually by 2012 and thus has loosened tourist visa procedures for most nationalities.

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