SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 24 June 2021, Thursday |

We are hungry, tourism is, and the country is… Restaurants are barely breathing

We were hungry, tourism was hungry, and the homeland was hungry. Thus, the Captain of Restaurant Owners Tony Al-Rami tweeted in the year 2020, then he announced this year the closure of 896 tourism establishments since the beginning of 2021 until today, confirming that the explosion of Beirut Port destroyed partially or completely 2069 restaurants.

In Saida, restaurant owners indicate that if the prices of meat and foodstuffs continue to rise, it will be difficult to continue. One of the restaurant owners told “Sawt Beirut International” correspondent Sarah Shehadeh, “I will present an example related to meat, since I have a butchery inside the restaurant. A week before the Eid, We used to sell meat according to the subsidized price, that is, the kilo at 45,000 pounds. The number of customers was large. But after the subsidy was removed two days before Eid, the price per kilo reached 110,000 pounds, so no one can buy it anymore. Not only with meat, even chicken, the price of the withdrawn kilo has reached 55 thousand pounds. The prices are still low compared to the rest of the regions, but I do not think that we can continue if the prices rose more”. Another one said,“ If the restaurant closed, it is total devastation, as starting again is not easy”.

Restaurant owners confirm that there are customers who used to frequenting visit their restaurants, but they no longer do it because of the high prices, especially for the large family consisting of several members.

Lebanon, which is known for its tourism potential, has lost this advantage, and there are no near solutions, as President Aoun promised. The statements of the Foreign Minister in the caretaker government, Charbel Wehbe, alone can undermine tourism in Lebanon.