Tourism Businesses In Lebanon Are Threatening To Shutdown In Protest

@hodema | Reuters

In a press conference held at the Phoenicia Hotel on Friday, the presidents of the Lebanese Federation for Tourism Industries warned the government of a potential “Black Day of Tourism” if the government does not meet their demands, reported the NNA. 

The said day is set on August 3rd, giving the government a whole month to meet the tourism sector’s list of demands or else face a total shutdown of tourist establishments across Lebanon.

The tourism industry heads stated that they will stage an open sit-in at the ministries of Tourism and Economy should the demands not be upheld.

Their list of demands reported by NNA includes approving and implementing plans and proposals referred to the Cabinet, improving ticket prices, and adopting a “tourism dollar rate.”

Concerning the latter demand, tourist institutions sell their services at the official exchange rate, however, they are still forced to pay for raw materials in USD at the black market rate, which they say is an “outrageous cost.”

They are pleading for a solution. 

If the government fails to meet their demands by August 3rd, the statement warned to declare the “Black Day of Tourism in Lebanon.” It means that all tourist establishments in Lebanon will shut down. 

This includes hotels, restaurants, cafes, clubs, swimming pools, travel and tour offices, furnished rental apartments, car rental, and more.

Furthermore, there will be a call for a “massive demonstration by all of the workers in the tourism sector and their families,” said the NNA. 

The government, which has held its hope on tourism to revive the economy, is now being put in a chokehold, not only by the tourism sector but also by the owners and employees of shops across Lebanon. That in addition to the high airline ticket prices discouraging tourists.

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