SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 20 January 2022, Thursday |

Tourism sector in Lebanon doesn’t seem to be a fruitful holiday season

Pierre Achkar, President of the Syndicate of Hotel Owners in Lebanon and President of the Federation of Tourist Syndicates, described the tourism sector’s current situation as “great frustration,” noting that “everyone is working against tourism in Lebanon,” as evidenced by “politicians’ positions and statements, as well as their hostility toward Arabs.”

“The sector has been abandoned after a relatively successful period during the summer months when domestic tourism was busy,” Achkar added, “but the situation has since dropped dramatically, and 2,000 rooms in Beirut hotels are still shuttered since the August 4, 2020 explosion.”

“So far, no tourist institution has announced holiday parties, so nothing encourages that, as the exchange rate of the dollar against the Lebanese pound continues to rise, and there is no electricity, no water, and no diesel, and the cost has become very high for the owners of these institutions, It has increased three times more than before, and there are no indications that we will return this year,” he added.

“What the country experienced last summer was a tourism boom made up of Lebanese visitors with expatriates and businesses, as it is not feasible to talk about the existence of true tourism,” he stated. He disclosed that “about 650,000 Lebanese visit Turkey yearly, but have turned to local tourism owing to high travel expenses and health hazards.”