SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 20 January 2022, Thursday |

Lebanon’s hotels will miss the buzz of the New Year’s Eve parties this year!

Amid the absence of Gulf tourists, the bookings and activity in hotels has been limited to expatriates and wealthy Lebanese people only.

Hotels, which used to hold the largest events and receive major artists, are missing New Year’s Eve parties this year. The reason is that hotels and restaurants are not affordable anymore, as the Lebanese has lost more than 95 percent of their purchasing power, and expatriates prefer spending the New Year’s Eve with their families at home, while the majority of artists will perform this eve outside Lebanon.

To shed more light on this topic, President of the Syndicate of Hotel Owners, Pierre Achkar joined us via phone.

Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are still in their early stages, and there is no clear prospect for it.

The head of the Lebanese negotiating team, Saadeh Al-Shami, told AFP that it was recently agreed to estimate the value of the losses at $69 billion, and that the Lebanese side is awaiting tangible results in January 2022.

However, this is related to several factors and the possibility of holding a meeting with the IMF in light of the development of the Covid epidemic. Al-Shami said that he is supposed to draw up an “integrated economic rescue plan” and send it to the IMF board for approval, but before that, Lebanon must show good faith, and the government should implement “some measures and reforms that prove that it is really committed to reforms.”

For his part, the Governor of the Central Bank Riad Salameh, confirmed to AFP that “the negotiations are still in the early stage, and that the Lebanese have not presented a plan yet.” Losses have not yet been divided between the state, the banking sector, the central bank and depositors.