Summer 2012: What Season for Lebanon’s Tourism Industry?
The year 2010, was an exceptional year in terms of tourist numbers.
The total number of incoming tourists to Lebanon accounted 2167989 tourists in 2010, up by 17 percent. Lebanon saw a dramatic decline in tourism throughout 2011 with the number of visitors decreasing by 23.66 percent from 2010 levels.
If the number of tourists to Lebanon totaled 313,854 in the first quarter of 2012, registering a decline of 7.9 percent from 340,670 tourists during the same last year period, expectations for the 2012 summer season remain cautious.
Days before Sunday’s murder of Sheikh Ahmad Abdel-Wahed, Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud warned that a catastrophe would hurt Lebanon’s summer season if the country’s security situation did not pick up. The UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain issued travel warnings to their citizens about the security situation in Lebanon.
However, if Abboud’s recent predictions that Lebanon would attract 3 million tourists this year, the situation in Syria and its repercussions on Lebanon would not make it true.
Some industry players are still optimistic. In their opinion, Lebanese expatriates and Arabs remain the main backbone of the tourist industry.
President Michel Suleiman is currently visiting the Gulf to encourage countries that posted travel warnings to cancel them.
Photo: Ahmed Sager
STRATEGIES & PLANS
A fundraising event, entitled Think Green, will be held by Zero Waste ACT for all its business members on September, 10,2013, at WHITE, Dora.
The Green Mind Association invited all Green Mind Award Participants, finalists, runner ups and winners to the GREEN MIND DAY on Jan-16-2013 in Beirut, to create a platform where interested Venture Capital and Potential Investors met with participants.
A green initiative launched by Ashrafieh 2020 project aims to transform Ashrafieh into a tranquil and unpolluted area.Green spaces allow residents to walk and ride bicycles.