On the impact of the dollar madness … the “Walaan” summer season and travel and hotel bookings peak.

spring: dita

Writer: Farah Nassour

Farah Nassour wrote in An-Nahar:

It is not possible to expect a promising summer – according to logical analysis – with a series of crises involving Lebanon, which continued to interact despite numerous election bets to reduce its negative effects. However, the reality in Lebanon is developing in a different context from the logic of the economy, as with the start of the summer season, those interested in the tourism sector tend to have an “excellent” season, provided that political stability prevails. . . It is an expectation that comes after the Corona pandemic recedes, i.e. after more than two weak seasons over the last two years. There are two reasons for tourism optimism in Lebanon, despite deepening crises and a lack of tourism goods and services. Two things formed the main motives for coming to Lebanon, from Lebanese immigrants and some Iraqis, Egyptians and Jordanians; They are: the fall of the free and the removal of previous health restrictions.

In an optimistic context, comes an impressive Twitter post by the head of the Lebanese-French business association HALFA, Antoine Mansi, stating that the number of immigrants from the diaspora exceeds one million people and that they can bring in three billion dollars. ” Fresh “, which came as a surprise in light of the continued rise The rapid rise in the price of the dollar and the crises that accompanied this rise in bread, medicine, communications and the high cost of fuel, immediately. after the parliamentary elections.

Does this forecast match the Lebanese diaries?

“We are facing a promising summer season, as the Corona pandemic has paralyzed the tourist markets for more than two years. This year, there is a lot of activity in booking in Lebanon, as Lebanon is currently one of the cheapest places in world. tourist map in terms of services. ” This is confirmed by Jean Beirut, head of the Union of Owners of Maritime Tourism Complexes and Secretary General of the Union of Tourist Institutions, in an interview with An-Nahar.

Prices in Lebanon are very low compared to prices in all countries of the world, if we calculate them in dollar terms. Therefore, this factor should be a catalyst for more arrivals, according to Beirut. We can also add the old and new Lebanese emigration, which made up two generations of returnees to Lebanon to spend the summer, “but that of course depends on political stability, while security stability exists.”

Maritime tourism institutions will be an essential part of the tourist movement in the summer of 2022 and tourism of all kinds will be more active in coastal areas, be it hotels, restaurants or nightclubs, not forgetting the part of mountainous areas in tourism, which has witnessed growth in the last two years when Domestic Tourism was activated.

Since tourism is mainly based on hotels booked by foreigners, Beirut reports that the hotel booking rate has reached almost 50 percent along the Lebanese coast.

Therefore, the reservations focused on hotels located on the coast and overlooking the sea, more than the inland hotels in the capital, some of which were closed, while migrants are looking for “summer” hotels to escape the heat. Also – according to Beirut – there are foreign nationals we have not seen in a long time and we expect them to visit Lebanon, like those coming from Brazil, Argentina, Sweden and South Africa.

Travel reservations to Beirut are great!

“Looking at the reservation systems, it turns out that the planes arriving in Beirut from all destinations are filled with about 99 percent and will become 100 percent, from June 15 to July 15,” according to what was confirmed by the head of the union. of Owners of Tourism and Travel Agencies, Jean Abboud, in an interview for “Day”.

It is assumed – according to Abboud – that when demand exceeds supply, airlines will increase the number of their flights. In the mentioned period and according to the reservation system, about 110 planes will arrive in Lebanon per day. If we calculate as an average that each aircraft carries 150 passengers (given the capacity of the aircraft), the estimated number of passengers arriving daily in Lebanon is about 17,000.

So there is a huge demand for bookings in Lebanon; Most of the newcomers are Lebanese immigrants, with a percentage of Egyptians and Jordanians forming a tourist movement last year, according to Abboud. There is a major motivating factor for the arrival of this large number of arrivals, which is the removal of health restrictions. Therefore, “participation this year is much higher than last year, when it reached its peak of about 12 to 13 thousand passengers per day, for a 10-day period. But this year there will be an increase of about 40 percent of revenue. in summer. “

In a preliminary and rough comparison, Abboud confirms that in the summer of 2019, before the outbreak of the October 17 movements, the number of arrivals in Lebanon did not exceed 16,000 or 17,000, due to the lack of Gulf tourists, in the midst of the crisis. politics. But now, the main reason for encouraging migrants to come to Lebanon are the cheap prices against the dollar, with the effect of the falling lira.

The movement is strong in the rest of the restaurants and bars …

For his part, Khaled Nozha, vice president of the Restaurant, Nightclubs and Patisseries Owners Union, expected in an interview with An-Nahar that the summer season would be “excellent” if political tensions were reduced. and constitutional conditions. the election went smoothly.

“The traffic is strong in the rest of the restaurants and nightclubs and in the tourist streets, as restaurants and bars move these places, like the streets of Gemmayzeh, Mar Mikhael, Badaro, Batroun and the Matn coast,” according to Nozha. However, this does not prevent business owners from facing the high cost challenges mainly of fuel and other goods.

In addition to immigrants, large numbers now come from tourists from Iraq, Egypt and then Jordan. The lack of Gulf and foreign tourists, according to Nozha, who “addressed an invitation here to the Arab brothers to return to their second country and further the economy”.

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