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Tourism sector booming, Jezzine festival launched


President Michel Aoun said yesterday after his meeting with tourism minister Avedis Guidanian, that the progress in the tourism activity is mainly due to the security stability the country is experiencing. To this effect, Guidanian presented tourism activity figures during the first six months of the year, pointing to a higher rate in incoming visitors compared to the year 2010 considered one of the golden years for tourism. He said the growth rate in the number of visitors from France stood at 30% compared to the past year and 42% compared to 2010; and from Russia 127% compared to 2010, pointing also to a considerable growth in the rate of travellers from England and Germany. He mentioned an additional 100,000 tourists coming from Europe, compared to the year 2010, bringing in nearly USD 100 million to the country. The growth rate in the number of visitors from GCC countries, Guidanian explained, reached 100% against last year, with a drop by 37% from the year 2010, while from Egypt it posted 60% compared to 2010. On the other hand, Guidanian kicked off yesterday the Jezzine Summer Festivals 2019 between the months of August and September. He appealed to politicians to soften their angry public statements in pursuance of a successful touristic season that has been flagging for the past 8 years. He said the vigor of festivals has in the past supported internal tourism here in Lebanon, but that today, there should be should be more diversity and innovation in tourism. For his part, the head of the Union of Municipalities of Jezzine, Khalil Harfoush, announced the launch of an inclusive tourism plan that will turn Jezzine to a touristic destination. He declared a joint tourism initiative with Saida based on the exchange of services and tourist, especially his town boasts large hotels that can accommodate around 500 visitors/ guests. (Al Diyar, July 10, 2019)

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