Tourism Minister: Lebanon is among the safest Mid-East countries

20120401-111345.jpgLebanese Tourism Minister Fady Abboud participated in the international tourism exhibition of Berlin (ITB) to spread the message that Lebanon is not at war. “We want to spread the message that Lebanon today is probably one of the safest country for tourists in the Middle East and we have a unique mix of tourism offerings from skiing in the mountains to water skiing in the Mediterranean, to offer them,” adds Abboud.

Lebanon remains as the ideal link between the east and the west and have traditionally seen strong arrival numbers from the Europeans markets, namely Germany over the years. “We have seen the strongest growth in tourist arrivals from the European markets, at the rate of 10-12 per cent over the years and believe that there is potential for much more.” Currently about 65 per cent of all tourist arrivals are from the Arab region, 25 per cent from the European destinations and the remaining from the rest of the world.

In the light of the Arab Spring, Lebanon lost over 350,000 tourists last year. These numbers account for tourists who would visit the country by land, through Syria. The ministry is now looking to overcome this by encouraging more air travel. “We are trying to encourage more low cost carriers to fly into Lebanon as we believe this will draw in the numbers,” adds Abboud.

While Lebanon remains popular among the European guests for its skiing and social scene, Archaeology is gaining importance among tourists visiting Lebanon. “Religious tourism is fast growing across the country as Christianity and Lebanon goes back almost 1000 years and we are keen to tap this segment in our key source markets. After all Lebanon sets the perfect example of how the Christians and Muslims can live in harmony,” said Abboud.

Abboud is also keen to promote new aspect of tourism including eco tourism. “We are also concentrating on efforts beyond Beirut including Baalbeck and Byblos that are rich in culture and history.” Mice is another key developing segment for Lebanon. While we lack state-of-the art convention centres and thus the convention segment, Lebanon remains popular for conferences. We recognise this and are working with the government to push forward this segment,” he added.

In Beirut alone, there are over 4,000 hotel rooms that are currently under construction. With the aim to develop markets outside Beirut, the tourism authority is offering incentives to developers investing outside Beirut. Abboud is very positive about 2012 and have set an ambition target of reaching their 2010 arrivals numbers of 2.2 million tourists.

Al Bawaba

  • farida2012

    Re post this stupid report when you have 24 hrs electricity, cleaning drinking water, and safe food in the market. Fadi Aboud you need to get around often. Safest but were in LBN. When you put the whole cost of visiting Lebanon I would choose to go elsewhere. Like Hawaii……..

  • farida2012

    Re post this stupid report when you 24 hrs electricty, clean drinking water, and safe food in the market. Fadi Aboud you need to get often 

  • 5thDrawer

    Archaeology is not ‘religious tourism’, Fady dear. Are the Germans into religion? And is it safe to rent a car and ramble around to, say, Tripoli, and see the ancient fort there? Or Zgharta? Baalbek is as interesting as Byblos in Archaeology. What religion was foremost at the Roman ruins of Tyre?  And for the folks falling off the cruise ships, how’s the wheelchair access these days?
    Yah know what I mean??? Nice try, although I think people read the news in some places.

  • 5thDrawer

    Archaeology is not ‘religious tourism’, Fady dear. Are the Germans into religion? And is it safe to rent a car and ramble around to, say, Tripoli, and see the ancient fort there? Or Zgharta? Balbeek is as interesting as Byblos in Archaeology. What religion was foremost at the Roman ruins of Tyre?  And for the folks falling off the cruise ships, how’s the wheelchair access these days?
    Yah know what I mean??? Nice try, although I think people read the news in some places.

  • Hannibal

    The minister forgot to mention traveller’s diarrhea as a bonus, and lack of electricity and Internet and spoiled outdated food…and the ghetto like forbidden areas.

    • yazidi

      dont forget the black shirts aswell!!

  • The minister forgot to mention traveller’s diarrhea as a bonus, and lack of electricity and Internet and spoiled outdated food…and the ghetto like forbidden areas.

    • yazidi

      dont forget the black shirts aswell!!

  • Beirut looks interesting and vibrant via TV screens, for instance fashion or music channels. Actually the modern Lebanese (I guess they are Christian, secular sunnis and some Druze) look very similar to secular Israelis. My grandfather studied in Beirut almost 90 years ago and I wish to visit myself. But unfortunately Lebanon is kidnapped by Iran’s proxi army, the Hizbullah.

    • 5thDrawer

      Yallah Omeriko. Nice pic up there .. eh? 🙂
      If you get a nice visa stamp in your passport from one, you can’t visit the other – so pick one I guess. Stupid ‘rules’, of course … but there ya go. Lebanon has more green and mountains .. and about as many idiots.
      Your Grandfather … did he mention what it used to be like? The education I mean … among other things. Had he ever heard of Iran? Did he care? Not that any but the brainwashed do now…
      And I suppose yes … if you land in Beirut (only) with a ‘tour group’, stay enclosed in your pricey hotel or on the tour bus, you’d be ok … most of the time … the baddies have been paid off to allow the tourist passage.
      In 1970 I did the same thing to Damascus … although you couldn’t take pictures until you were in the ‘old city’, the store for buying trinkets was a well-planned part of the tour, and the guide went frantic when someone lagged behind to actually talk to a ‘local’ or to try shopping elsewhere. Bad form to lose someone.
      Everything looks good on TV … at night especially, except for the dark spots. Try the beach in daytime.

      • dabshaleem

        nackeed beachs r nice mr not for me mr

        • 5thDrawer

          Dab … you need to try a nude beach at least once in your life. Really shows you the shape of humanity.
          🙂

      • dabshaleem

        yes mr 5th i standed infrount of meraie i lik see mr nuded no fated girls nic mr mak me exceited mr no salafites nuded mr

    • dabshaleem

      no mr lebanon is goood mr not for salafite and zionistes mr

      • master09

        Zioniste would turn it into the worlds greatest tourist venue, unlike our people who turn it into a rubbish dump…

    • yazidi

      you mean the devil army of hezboshytan

  • Beirut looks interesting and vibrant via TV screens, for instance fashion or music channels. Actually the modern Lebanese (I guess they are Christian, secular sunnis and some Druze) look very similar to secular Israelis. My grandfather studied in Beirut almost 90 years ago and I wish to visit myself. But unfortunately Lebanon is kidnapped by Iran’s proxi army, the Hizbullah.

    • 5thDrawer

      Yallah Omeriko. Nice pic up there .. eh? 🙂
      If you get a nice visa stamp in your passport from one, you can’t visit the other – so pick one I guess. Stupid ‘rules’, of course … but there ya go. Lebanon has more green and mountains .. and about as many idiots.Your Grandfather … did he mention what it used to be like? The education I mean … among other things. Had he ever heard of Iran? Did he care? Not that any but the brainwashed do now…And I suppose yes … if you land in Beirut (only) with a ‘tour group’, stay enclosed in your pricey hotel or on the tour bus, you’d be ok … most of the time … the baddies have been paid off to allow the tourist passage.
      In 1970 I did the same thing to Damascus … although you couldn’t take pictures until you were in the ‘old city’, the store for buying trinkets was a well-planned part of the tour, and the guide went frantic when someone lagged behind to actually talk to a ‘local’ or to try shopping elsewhere. Bad form to lose someone.Everything looks good on TV … at night especially, except for the dark spots. Try the beach in daytime.

      • dabshaleem

        nackeed beachs r nice mr not for me mr

        • 5thDrawer

          Dab … you need to try a nude beach at least once in your life. Really shows you the shape of humanity. 🙂

      • dabshaleem

        yes mr 5th i standed infrount of meraie i lik see mr nuded no fated girls nic mr mak me exceited mr no salafites nuded mr

    • dabshaleem

      no mr lebanon is goood mr not for salafite and zionistes mr

      • master09

        Zioniste would turn it into the worlds greatest tourist venue, unlike our people who turn it into a rubbish dump…

    • yazidi

      you mean the devil army of hezboshytan

  • Funniest article posted here in a long time, next to anything coming out of the bunker dweller that is… You’ll never get a visitor as long as Hezbollah and Iran are running he show…

  • Patience2

    Did anyone mention the wonderful, exciting, ‘green and yellow’ parades through Beirut?

  • Funniest article posted here in a long time, next to anything coming out of the bunker dweller that is… You’ll never get a visitor as long as Hezbollah and Iran are running he show…

  • Patience2

    Did anyone mention the wonderful, exciting, ‘green and yellow’ parades through Beirut?

  • Fadi81

    Well I will be returning with a few first time visitors to Lebanon. I’m concerned for their well being, not so much mine. Lebanese people are somewhat immune to the fighting and bs, but westerners not so much. I’ve held off as long as I can, it seems they have won because I can’t hold off my summer visits forever…

    • Fadi i wish you a safe fun  trip, trust your instinct in protecting your guest and stay away from unfriendly territory for salafistl like you and me lol.  lebanon is not a vacation but  an experience that i would share with some but not all. allthough i am from ashrafieh  i would take waterbording on before ever being caught in a  trafiic jam in that place,  jbeil is awsome , dahieh would be an adventure if you can spray some grafitti on my behalf (geo was here or forever wahabi)  lol.

      • 5thDrawer

        Rascal …

      • Fadi81

        thankyou, and yes I will do my best to avoid the salafists and any ‘ists’ i can for that matter lol.its been 3 years now since my last visit (longest since leaving), and in that 3 years I got married so my family has been hounding me to meet her (its almost like an insult to refuse lol).  i’ll be going with my cousin who hasnt been back since childhood, and he also will be bringing his wife. It should be an amazing time as always, but I do feel a bit of pressure around the trip this time. Im gonna tour the country as we always do, I try not to concern myself with the nonsense when im there. Im very familiar with achrafieh and will be visiting family there, in fact i think i have family in every corner of Lebanon to visit lol…i will be staying in my home in Bhamdoun for the most part, but i also have a villa booked in jbeil for a week (a break for the ladies from all the driving/smell of mazote/traffic and such…)

        • dabshaleem

          we welcamse yu mr i cane meet yu at matare if yu waunt mr i giv yu toor all over no salafites mr bhamdoun nic mr no salafites ther mr 

        • dabshaleem

          yu maried to woman or man mr

      • dabshaleem

        we no let salafites do nothin mr yu no salafite mr dahieh nic placed mr no nuded poeple mr

        • dab, 3 salifites  went to nude beach and when they  saw a camera pointing at them 2 of them  covered their bottom and  1 covered his face, the 2 asked he third why did you cover your face ?,  the third replied ” where i come the face  is how we recognize people ” :):):)

    • 5thDrawer

      Listen to Geo. 🙂 But also …
      Get a suntan first – visitors especially … and Tripoli might not be the wisest choice. Bon Voyage, however. 🙂
      Don’t forget the Archeology :-))) (Sorry)
      Maybe hang a sign around all your visitors necks;
      like … ‘Fady Abboud Tourist – Safe Zone’. :-)) (Sorry again)
      And …
      For sure some will say ‘Come. We will look after you. It is safe here. Just bring candles.’ :-)))
      And they are probably right … the last taxi-ride I had flew faster than bullets … seat-belts were superfluous. Exciting indeed. 🙂

      • Fadi81

         Ha, thanks Geo. ya we tend to ‘tan’ year round (gotta maintain that rockstar look lol). I love the archeology in Lebanon and all the wonderful sites, that along with our traditional tour of all the churchs/monasteries will be top of my list. it makes for an excellent way to see the country. I believe I will be in tripoli for a short visit as well, but i’ll try to avoid any rogue individuals who wreak of scotch 😉

        • holly crap, is that a horse dog fadi? what do you feed that dog free kittens lol.

        • 5thDrawer

          …. ‘Hic’ ….. excuse … ‘Welcome’ …. ‘Hic’ … maybe avoid ‘Dab-Toors’. 😉

    • dabshaleem

      no concern mr no wahabies can donothin mr

      • Fadi81

        Thanks Dab, I appreciate the heads up mr. also thats a nice offer but I will have to refuse. I grew up in Lebanon so i’m pretty familiar with the country lol. I usually rent a vehicle which makes getting back and forth much easier than relying on others or taxi’s.

        (had to edit to at least throw in one ‘mr’)

  • Fadi81

    Well I will be returning with a few first time visitors to Lebanon. I’m concerned for their well being, not so much mine. Lebanese people are somewhat immune to the fighting and bs, but westerners not so much. I’ve held off as long as I can, it seems they have won because I can’t hold off my summer visits forever…

    • Fadi i wish you a safe fun  trip, trust your instinct in protecting your guest and stay away from unfriendly territory for salafistl like you and me lol.  lebanon is not a vacation but  an experience that i would share with some but not all. allthough i am from ashrafieh  i would take waterbording on before ever being caught in a  trafiic jam in that place,  jbeil is awsome , dahieh would be an adventure if you can spray some grafitti on my behalf (geo was here or forever wahabi)  lol.

      • 5thDrawer

        Get a suntan first – visitors especially … and Tripoli might not be the wisest choice. Bon Voyage, however. 🙂
        Don’t forget the Archeology :-))) (Sorry)
        Maybe hang a sign around all your visitors necks;
        ‘Fady Abboud Tourist – Safe Zone’. :-)) (Sorry again)

      • Fadi81

        thankyou, and yes I will do my best to avoid the salafists and any ‘ists’ i can for that matter lol.its been 3 years now since my last visit (longest since leaving), and in that 3 years I got married so my family has been hounding me to meet her (its almost like an insult to refuse lol).  i’ll be going with my cousin who hasnt been back since childhood, and he also will be bringing his wife. It should be an amazing time as always, but I do feel a bit of pressure around the trip this time. Im gonna tour the country as we always do, I try not to concern myself with the nonsense when im there. Im very familiar with achrafieh and will be visiting family there, in fact i think i have family in every corner of Lebanon to visit lol…i will be staying in my home in Bhamdoun for the most part, but i also have a villa booked in jbeil for a week (a break for the ladies from all the driving/smell of mazote/traffic and such…)

        • dabshaleem

          we welcamse yu mr i cane meet yu at matare if yu waunt mr i giv yu toor all over no salafites mr bhamdoun nic mr no salafites ther mr 

        • dabshaleem

          yu maried to woman or man mr

      • dabshaleem

        we no let salafites do nothin mr yu no salafite mr dahieh nic placed mr no nuded poeple mr

        • dab, 3 salifites  went to nude beach and when they  saw a camera pointing at them 2 of them  covered their bottom and  1 covered his face, the 2 asked he third why did you cover your face ?,  the third replied ” where i come the face  is how we recognize people ” :):):)

    • 5thDrawer

      Listen to Geo. 🙂 But also …
      Get a suntan first – visitors especially … and Tripoli might not be the wisest choice. Bon Voyage, however. 🙂
      Don’t forget the Archeology :-))) (Sorry)
      Maybe hang a sign around all your visitors necks;
      like … ‘Fady Abboud Tourist – Safe Zone’. :-)) (Sorry again)

      • Fadi81

         Ha, thanks Geo. ya we tend to ‘tan’ year round (gotta maintain that rockstar look lol). I love the archeology in Lebanon and all the wonderful sites, that along with our traditional tour of all the churchs/monasteries will be top of my list. it makes for an excellent way to see the country. I believe I will be in tripoli for a short visit as well, but i’ll try to avoid any rogue individuals who wreak of scotch 😉

        • holly crap, is that a horse dog fadi? what do you feed that dog free kittens lol.

        • 5thDrawer

          …. ‘Hic’ ….. excuse … ‘Welcome’ …. ‘Hic’

    • dabshaleem

      no concern mr no wahabies can donothin mr

      • Fadi81

        Thanks Dab, I appreciate the heads up mr. also thats a nice offer but I will have to refuse. I grew up in Lebanon so i’m pretty familiar with the country lol. I usually rent a vehicle which makes getting back and forth much easier than relying on others or taxi’s.

        (had to edit to at least throw in one ‘mr’)