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Domestic Tourism Drops 60% After Hariri’s Resignation

Domestic Tourism Drops 60% After Hariri’s Resignation

Friday, 10 November, 2017 - 09:15
Tourists walk at the sea castle of the port-city of Sidon, southern Lebanon. Picture taken October 3, 2011. REUTERS/ Ali Hashisho (Reuters/ Ali Hashisho)

Lebanese Tourism Minister Avedis Guidanian said that the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri did not impact foreign tourism to Lebanon, but affected local tourism, which has dropped by 60 percent.

The minister noted that plans for the end of the year activities would continue, saying: “Hariri's resignation led to a kind of fear on the first day, but the Lebanese president’s good governance has calmed the situation and prevented bad repercussions.”

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Federation of Tourism Trade Unions Jean Beirouti said that there were no direct effects of Hariri's resignation on the tourism sector on the local and foreign levels, explaining that the month of November was a low season and that reservations were mainly by European tourists and not Arab and Gulf countries.

On the other hand, Beiruti revealed that the resignation has reflected on internal tourism in restaurants and nightclubs, which decreased during the week, while the flow was normal over the weekend. On the hotels level, the occupancy rate in Beirut has reached 60 percent, while in other areas it was about 45 percent, according to the tourism official.

In remarks to the Central News Agency (CNA), Beiruti stressed that contacts made by President Michel Aoun have eased the situation, hoping that positive solutions would be reached to alleviate the difficulties faced on the economic and touristic levels.

The head of the Association for Exhibitions and Conferences, Elie Rizk, said: “There is no doubt that the resignation has affected the general economic situation, as it affects every Lebanese. But the only good thing is that it happened on a holiday; it has given sufficient time to all the economic bodies to take appropriate measures to prevent panic that can lead to a complete economic collapse.”

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