2023's Lebanese tourism odyssey: Challenges and triumphs keeping the 'party alive'

Lebanon News
2023-09-27 | 08:09
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2023's Lebanese tourism odyssey: Challenges and triumphs keeping the 'party alive'
2023's Lebanese tourism odyssey: Challenges and triumphs keeping the 'party alive'

By Karine Keuchkerian
Nestled along the Mediterranean coast, Lebanon is known for being a gem for all-year-long tourism, as it is home to beautiful sandy beaches in the summer and snowy peaks in winter. 

Despite the many crises that have been engulfing the country for years now, Lebanon and its citizens never failed to be a generous host for tourists from all over the world, presenting a rich array of heritage and culture to everyone visiting.

In 2023, Lebanon witnessed a revival in its post-pandemic tourism, with the Lebanese expatriates on the "front lines," coming to visit their families and help boost their country's economy.

In fact, recent data compiled by the Ministry of Tourism and the Lebanese General Security shed light on the significant contribution of Lebanese expatriates to the tourism sector in Lebanon. 

According to these figures for 2022, Lebanese expatriates accounted for 63 percent of the total visitor arrivals, while in the first quarter of 2023, their share increased to 68 percent. 

The capital, Beirut, and various Lebanese villages saw numerous music festivals and long-awaited concerts this summer, including the concert by Egyptian pop star Amr Diab, whose show was attended by thousands of fans, reflecting how the Lebanese could keep their sense of living despite it all. 

And who can forget the wild moments in the Lebanese capital, which many describe as the original party destination in the Middle East, with tens of people partying from sunset to sunrise?

Speaking of sunsets, did you know there is a new kind of tourism in Lebanon? Sunset tourism has become more vibrant in 2023, becoming an essential stop for many tourists. 

Tourism establishment owners are also taking advantage of this beautiful natural gift.

Currently, in Lebanon, there are hundreds of tourist establishments by the sea and in the mountains, where you can enjoy the sunset, as this period of the day provides between 15 and 20 percent of the restaurants' income in the summer season, in addition to creating more job opportunities for the youth.

From its skies filled with gorgeous sceneries in its mountains and with scenes of paragliding on its coast, Lebanon's rural region also saw a boom this season, with guesthouses and vacation rentals experiencing a surge until the end of October, being in significant demand from expatriates and tourists alike. 

Lebanon's Caretaker Tourism Minister Walid Nassar previously clarified on LBCI that "by the end of 2023, the number of visitors will reach 4.5 million, including two million foreigners."

He also emphasized that Lebanon remains a significant tourist destination in the region despite all the circumstances and the political crisis.

As anticipated, Lebanon noticed an increase in the number of arrivals as the country's sky is "full" until the end of September; in addition, large hotels have returned to receive visitors again, and the doors of many tourist facilities that were previously closed have reopened.

All this movement heralds a blessing in boosting the economic cycle and securing job opportunities for young people.  

It is also important to note that Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport achieved an increase in the number of travelers to and from Lebanon.
The numbers show that the overall total of passengers through the airport from the beginning of 2023 until the end of July reached four million and 109,962 passengers, compared to three million and 392,704 passengers in the first seven months of 2022, marking a 21.14 percent increase.

Even as the summer season is about to conclude, 2023's tourism is still ongoing, as two months separate us from the Christmas holiday season.

With "good luck," we will likely see vast numbers of locals and tourists filling Lebanese streets to attend the numerous Christmas markets and holiday-inspired events organized nationwide!

Lebanon News

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