The Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut, Thursday, May 18, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
This article previously misstated Rima Hamzeh's title. The Daily Star regrets this error.
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Hotel reservations in Lebanon during the winter holiday season have not died down despite the many local and international difficulties the country is facing, said Pierre Achkar, president of the Syndicate of Hotel Owners.Hotels contacted by The Daily Star reported similar or even significantly better occupancy rates this winter holiday season compared to last. However, the current positive occupancy rates are not necessarily a sign of better things to come, warned Achkar, who is also chairman of the four-star Monroe Hotel on Beirut's Waterfront and the five-star Printania Palace Hotel in Broummana.Achkar's sentiments were echoed by Jean Beiruti, the head of the Syndicate of Seaside Resort Operators, who estimated that the average occupancy rate in Beirut for New Year's is 80-100 percent and outside of Beirut 60-80 percent.Beiruti said that for April-May 2019, large European groups have already ensured healthy occupancy rates. However, he said that the hotel sector as a whole would continue to face difficulties as long as general issues in Lebanon and the region remained unresolved.The main challenge for hotels, Achkar said, is to maintain a similar occupancy rate after the holidays.These positive developments, Achkar said, will eventually lead to a snowball effect, just like in 2009 .
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