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Absence of classification deprives Tyre of tourism development


In its issue of today, Al Akbar newspaper said that Lebanon lacks a clear classification of tourist cities, pointing to a sixty year old decree that covers what it calls ‘summer cities’, excluding the coastal ones. On the subject, Al Akhbar spoke to the minister of state for administrative development affairs, Inaya Izzedine, who clarified that said decree has shown partiality to these areas, including increasing their electricity rations and giving them an edge in infrastructure, road network, investment and development undertakings over other areas that remained neglected. Izzedine said she seeks amendment to the current legislation, in collaboration with the ministry of tourism that will include summer and touristic cities. As such, Tyre will receive official recognition for its distinctive touristic potentials and will be noted in any future development initiatives approved and endorsed by the government. Izzidine also stressed that the concepts of tourism and tour guide need to be revised. For his part, Tyre mayor, Hassan Dbouk, pointed out that the city has been passed over, marginalized and unknown by many Lebanese for years, noting that it is a touristic city par excellence hosting scores of visitors and tourists, particularly in the summer months. During the Fitr Holidays this past June, for example, Tyre received more than 50,000 tourists, Dbouk said. Similarly, the head of the Association for Protecting the Environment in Tyre, Ahmad Faraj, maintained that the city boasts all the nitty-gritties of a tourist city and historic ruins which classified it within UNESCO’s World Heritage Cities. (Al Akhbar, September 14, 2018)

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