Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
11:36 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Lebanon
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Kuwaiti tourists spend National Day in Lebanon
Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud arrives at the Parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud arrives at the Parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Tourism Ministry voiced optimism about the ailing sector after hundreds of Kuwaiti visitors arrived at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport Friday, ahead of a national day vacation in the Gulf Cooperation Council country.

“Lebanon reassures tourists that we will provide the best conditions for their stays,” Fadi Abboud said, adding that the arrival of seven fully booked flights from Kuwait underscored the return of strong tourism ties between the two countries.

A source at the airport said Kuwaiti tourists would keep arriving over the next few days ahead of the Kuwaiti National Day.

“More than 70 percent of the passengers were Kuwaiti nationals and the rest Lebanese citizens working in Kuwait,” the source told The Daily Star.

Several additional flights by Jazeera Airways, Kuwait Airways and Lebanon’s flag carrier Middle East Airlines are expected to arrive to Lebanon in the coming few days, the source added.

Some of the Kuwaiti nationals said they would spend the week in the mountains while others will book rooms in Beirut hotels.

The arrival of Kuwaiti tourists will likely give hope to the tourism sector, which has seen its worst season in years.

Travel warnings issued by several GCC countries, including Kuwait, saw the number of tourists fall considerably this year, prompting many restaurants to shut down and several hotels to lay off dozens of staff to cut losses.

The number of tourists to Lebanon declined 17.51 percent to1.36 million in 2012 compared to 2011. The decline stands at a whopping 37 percent, compared to 2010’s 2.17 million visitors.

Osta Bourjaily, head of the Bhamdoun municipality, a major destination for Kuwaiti tourists in Lebanon, said that Kuwaitis, particularly homeowners, had not stopped coming to Lebanon, despite GCC travel warnings.

“These are probably Kuwaitis who come back to Lebanon on a regular basis; they know the country by heart,” he added. But Bourjaily said the town of Bhamdoun had not seen any additional tourist activity over the past few days.

Mona Fares, head of the tourism development department at the ministry, said during a ceremony at the airport that a ministry-sponsored travel and shopping discounts campaign had helped shore up the sector.

Asked whether GCC countries would ease implementation of travel warnings issued last summer, Fares said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had expressed readiness to allow their nationals to visit Lebanon.

Lebanon launched a broad media campaign to promote the country as a tourist destination as Prime Minister Najib Mikati held talks with GCC leaders to persuade them to drop their travel warnings.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 23, 2013, on page 4.
Home Lebanon
 
     
 
Tourism / Lebanon / Economics
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS