One Million Expats Are Expected To Visit Lebanon In The Coming Months

A Million Expats Expected To Visit Lebanon In The Coming Months
Instagram/Rony Seikaly | MIddle East Airlines

Now that its international airport is finally open, albeit partly so, Lebanon is betting on its most promising hand to revitalize its economy: Lebanese expatriates and tourists.

Despite the ongoing outbreak, around a million Lebanese expatriates will visit Lebanon, “carrying good and hopes,” predicted Abbas Fawaz, President of the World Lebanese Cultural Union.

After congratulating Lebanese-Dominican politician and businessman Luis Abinader for winning the 2020 presidential election of the Dominican Republic, Fawaz emphasized the positive impact that the diaspora can have on Lebanon.

The country has always depended on its nationals abroad to regularly visit home and “inject their material and moral capabilities in this country” and give it “new blood, renewedly, every year,” he said in a statement.

The population of the Lebanese diaspora is estimated to be three times that of the nearly 5 million currently residing in Lebanon and is seen by the government as a potential spring of hard cash dollars.

However, much of this diaspora is suffering from what most people in Lebanon are suffering from, namely the problem of the frozen deposits in Lebanese banks.

On that, Fawaz explained that the World Lebanese Culture Union contacted the banks and the Banque du Liban and was “promised well.”

He added, “We contacted government officials and ministers to take advantage of these difficult circumstances that Lebanon is going through and turn them into an opportunity for production.”

Additionally, he noted that the meetings were very good and that the Minister of Industry presented the Union with “a list of industries that can be invested in.”

Meanwhile, this year’s tourism season has not had its best kickoff, partly due to high ticket prices and the ongoing pandemic. Nonetheless, Lebanon will continue to hold music festivals in an attempt to attract tourists from around the world.

On that note, Beirut will host the Arab Youth Capital cultural event in 2022, and the 15th Arab Games sports event on a yet-to-be-specified date.