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Published on : Tuesday, July 4, 2017
In Arab countries, the holy month of Ramadan usually experiences slow tourism. This June, the hot streets of Beirut are somewhat subdued. However, the expectation and excitement in hospitality sector for a busy July and August is quite obvious and one can easily sense it.
Local insecurity and regional instability for the last six years have hampered Lebanon tourism to a huge extent. This resulted in a drop in the number of tourist arrivals from 2.17 million in 2010, considered as one of the golden years for Lebanon tourism, to 1.5 million in 2015. Nonetheless, a tourist bump at the fag end of 2016 took the numbers to 1.7 million.
Its being expected that summer 2017 will witness a significant improvement in tourism, although not like the summers of 2009 or 2010 respectively.
The Lebanese hospitality sector with a new president and government in late 2016 finally witnessed progress on the internal unsteadiness that it has held responsible for sluggish tourism for the past six years. Certainly, tourism numbers from December 2016 till date shows a sector starting to bounce back. During December 2016, as per EY’s Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey report, room occupancy rates at Lebanon’s five star hotels increased at 64 percent, the highest mark they have seen for that month since 2010.