Most of the Saudi and Gulf tourists cancelled their reservations in Lebanon for the Eid al-Adha holiday because of the recent security situation, a senior official says.
Pierre Ashkar, the head of the hotel owners’ association in Lebanon, says: “This deterioration is a major blow to Lebanese tourism in general,” pointing out that the people of the Arabian Gulf have been the backbone of the tourism sector in Lebanon for decades and continue to be even today. They tend to stay for longer periods of time and have a greater potential for spending than other tourists.
He adds: “Reservations were cancelled due to the recent security developments and this is normal for most tourists, not only the people of the Gulf,” explaining that, during the previous period, the army and security forces managed to impose security and stability and repel all terrorism operations that could affect Lebanon.
It is worth mentioning that the income from the tourism sector in Lebanon has dropped by 45 per cent from 2011 to date, reports UAE-based Aliqtisadi.