BEIRUT: Lebanon’s tourism associations renewed a demand for amending the smoking ban, warning that the sector incurred heavy losses since the law became effective last month.
“The tourism sector is amid an unprecedented crisis ... we have accumulated vast losses since the implementation [of law 174] started,” Paul Ariss, head of the Restaurants Association, said.
“The law was passed at the wrong time when the sector was already suffering from a sharp decline caused by political and security turmoil that [caused a sharp fall in the number] of tourists,” he added.
Charles Arbid, head of the Lebanese Franchise Association, also called for amending the law. “We demand that some aspects of the law are reconsidered after it damaged thousands of businesses and threatened jobs,” he said.
“We are not calling to cancel the smoking ban but [for a law] that takes our business into account,” added Pierre Achkar, head of the Hotels Association. Head of the Chambers of Commerce Mohammad Choukeir called on the government to issue licenses to institutes specialized in nargileh.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 03, 2012, on page 5.