Arab News has reported that despite the tension in Lebanon, the country remains a favorite destination for many Saudi tourists.
“Saudi tourists show immense interest in visiting Lebanon as tourists each year. After the war in 2006, everything returned to normal and holiday reservation rates in Beirut was increasing gradually. Holiday bookings to Lebanon are already 100 percent full this year,” said Jalal Hamed, a Saudi employee at Zahid Travel Group.
Saudi Arabian Airlines also confirmed there has been no change in bookings to Lebanon.
“There is no noticeable decrease in the booking rate to Lebanon. Lebanon is considered a favorite destination for many Saudis. If we notice any horrible changes in the political situation of any country, we will stop planned flights temporarily,” said a Saudia official.
Jawahir Al-Hakami, a travel consultant at Shami Holidays, confirmed that a large number of Saudi tourists who want to travel to Beirut are still on the waiting list.
“There is no decrease in the number of flights to Beirut. Actually, we still receive people wanting to make reservations. There are presently no vacancies, as all scheduled flights are full. Some of them refuse to travel to other destinations and have asked us to put them on waiting lists,” said Al-Hakami..
There were reports that Lebanon’s Minister of Tourism Fadi Abboud said that 30 percent of holiday reservations had been canceled over the last few weeks due to the fear of an Israeli attack. But Abboud denied ever saying such a thing and announced on sunday that traffic at the airport is up 30 %.