Published on : Friday, January 4, 2019
Pierre Ashkar, head of the Syndicate of Hotel Owners in Lebanon said that their hotels witnessed a good activity by tourists with an increase in occupancy by 7 percent for the new year period as compared to the same period last year.
Despite the political instability existing in the country and the absence of government Lebanon succeeded in attracting tourists.Although the country held its first parliamentary elections in nine years, it still faces the challenges to overcome all hurdles related to cabinet formation.
Several sectors were impacted due to the absence of government which included tourism to an extent.
Two civil planes were saved from humanitarian disaster when Israel allegedly violated Lebanon’s airspace to implement raids against Syria’s Damascus and Ashkar showed concern about the possible reservation and cancellation.
Lebanon saw a slight increase in visitors from the Gulf region and people did not cancel their reservations. Most of the hotels were reserved by the Iraqis, Egyptians, Jordanians and Syrians apart from that there was a slight increase in the tourism activity by the people from the Gulf.
The Lebanese-Saudi crisis caused by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s controversial resignation in Riyadh which was repealed which led to travel restrictions to Lebanon due to the crisis in 2017.
But upon the formation of Lebanese government the travel ban will be removed which the Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari announced.Ashkar said that after the Saudi Arabia removes the travel ban on Lebanon, the rest of the Gulf countries will follow.
Tony Ramy, head of Lebanese Syndicate of Restaurants Owners during Christmas and new year restaurants attracted customers.Even the car rental agencies worked well during three days before 2019 before the new year’s eve and after it.