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Conflict weighs heavily on Lebanon’s tourism sector

The Hezbollah-Israel confrontations on the Lebanese southern border weighed heavily on Lebanon’s tourism sector, said an industry insider on Wednesday.

“This reality is very painful for the entire tourism cycle,” said Tony al-Rami, president of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Nightclubs and Pastries in Lebanon, according to the National News Agency.

Travel offices cannot offer tourist packages due to anxiety caused by the conflict at home and the bans imposed abroad on travel to Lebanon, al-Rami said.

Car rental offices are operating at a 10-percent capacity, meaning that only 800 cars out of 8,000 are rented by local and international non-governmental organizations, he added.

Regarding hotels, furnished apartments, and guest houses, their occupancy rates are currently at a low of 10-15 percent, with tour guides facing unemployment for the time being, according to the industry insider.

Al-Rami expressed his pessimism for the coming summer tourism season, especially if the current conflict continues.

The Lebanon-Israel border has been witnessing increased tension since Oct. 8, 2023, after Lebanese armed group Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets toward Israel in support of the Hamas attack on Israel the previous day, prompting Israel to respond by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

Famagusta Gazette