People sit in a pub in Mar Mikhael. (The Daily Star/Grace Kassab)
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As summer comes to an end, the mass of tourists filling the bars and streets of Mar Mikhael slowly pack their bags and return home.If accurate, the number would indicate a rebound from the dismal 2011-2013 period following the start of the Syria crisis that saw tourism to Lebanon plummet.Her research concluded that Europe, other Arab countries and the United States rank as the top three sources of tourists for the country, but didn't necessarily differentiate the large number of Lebanese expatriates or diaspora who return home on a foreign passport. There has also been a significant drop in the number of tourists from the Gulf in recent years as local travel restrictions discouraged many from visiting Lebanon. Lebanon has long held the image for Western visitors of Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando lounging in Jbeil in the heady prewar days.Multiple factors can be attributed to this growth in Western tourists to Lebanon.
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