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Call for repositioning Lebanon on world tourism map

8-8-2017

In a special feature on the festival boom across the Lebanese areas, Al Diyar newspaper revealed that more than 120 touristic-bound festivities receive a LBP 4 billion worth of support from the ministry of tourism. Most of these events suffer from financial losses given the 30% tax incurred on them, but are largely compensated by the ministry’s allocated subsidies and specific sponsors, according to festivals organizers. Tourism in Lebanon is now constricted to festivities, the newspaper wrote, adding that the role of the minister of tourism is practically limited to launching similar festivals, generally not free of charge. The thriving of fiestas in the country could be called for at some point in time when the GCC embargo on Lebanon and the regional security tensions were at peak, and Lebanese expats had their own fears of visiting, the newspaper wrote. However, with the start of the new presidency term, the tourism ministry embarked on a plan to re-position the country on the global touristic map. In this respect, the secretary-general of the Hotels Owner Association, Jean Beiruti, demanded that next year’s budget allocated for festivals should focus on traditional folklore and free events as well as on international festivals that could attract tourists and uplift and revive Lebanese heritage in the year 2018. (Al Diyar, August 7, 2017)

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