Hotels in the mountains suffered the most following the Arab Gulf state travel advisory to Lebanon. The Daily Star/Mohammed Azakir
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The quiet mountain towns towering over frantic Beirut have grown even quieter in the last few years. Shops, restaurants and hotels that were once brimming with people have either been closed or abandoned in the wake of yet another set of travel advisories from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf countries whose nationals frequent Lebanon. Tourists from Gulf countries, such as Kuwait, have been vacationing in Lebanon for decades and stay for months at a time.Kuwaitis alone account for 10 percent of total tourist spending, according to the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon. Everyone in the world is after this particular group of tourists, Achkar told The Daily Star. As a response to the direct and indirect losses, 23 restaurants and nightclubs have opened in Broumana this summer to attract daily tourism from Lebanese residents.Even though hotels have cut prices as much 40 percent to try and stay competitive, the loss of tourism money has hit the pocket of average Lebanese residents.Hicham Ballout, owner of Pineland, designed his hotel not to be too dependent on foreign tourism but it is still indirectly affected.Tourism Minister Michel Pharaon predicted a strong season in Lebanon, citing the 70 upcoming festivals scheduled this summer.
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