Lebanon’s 2024 tourism outlook

Lebanon’s 2024 tourism outlook

Lebanon’s tourism landscape is an intriguing mix of triumphs, challenges and resilience. From the reflections of industry leaders to strategies for revival, we explore the dynamic forces shaping Lebanon’s tourism outlook in the face of adversity.

While more than 330 institutions opened in the previous summer season, just 30 percent of them have succeeded, according to the Syndicate of Restaurants, Cafes, Night Clubs and Pastry Shops in Lebanon. However, the syndicate president, Tony Ramy, said: “Although we are worried, we will not give up.”

Facing the challenges

Lebanon has long dealt with challenges, forcing tourism stakeholders to be resourceful and get back on their feet. According to Pierre Achkar, president of the Federation for Tourism and Hotel Association, the Lebanese can overcome almost anything and Lebanon is still the cheapest country in the world in the tourism sector in terms of the services it provides.

Air traffic has been greatly affected in the last couple of years due to various factors, including reduced flights, increased costs and geopolitics. Marwan Haber, head of the Commercial Division at Middle East Airlines, stated that expatriate arrivals decreased by 4 percent and departures by 9 percent compared to last year.

Lebanon welcomed 1.8 million visitors to Lebanon in 2023 according to the Lebanese Minister of Tourism, H.E. Walid Nassar, who took a decision took a decision some time ago to allow tourism establishments to price in hard currency in order to preserve this market. He said: “I will take a similar decision regarding the taxes imposed on private sector companies in order to also preserve this huge and important field.”

Despite the significant decrease in arrivals to resorts, Jean Beyrouthy, president of the Syndicate of Balnear Tourist Establishments in Lebanon, expressed his optimism that the summer season will compensate the losses incurred from previous years.

In terms of MICE tourism and other events such as weddings, Joumana Dammous-Salame, managing director of Hospitality Services, stated that hotels and venues are reporting positive numbers in terms of reservations. “While it may be surprising, venues across the country are booked out for the summer, which is a positive indicator.

In his intervention, the director general of the Ministry of Economy, Mr. Mohammad Abu Haider, said that at the peak of the crisis, without the strength of the tourism sector and its seriousness at work, Lebanon would not have been able to continue, but we lack confidence in order to be able to attract more to the tourism sector, stating: “The sector is running the whole economical wheel from years behind and until today it was always the base of our economy”.


While the Lebanese tourism sector is facing many challenges, notably the state of the economy, there is agreement that trust must be restored in the government and maintain the collaboration that is occurring between private and public sector. “We had lost hope in cooperation between the private and public sectors, but what is happening today between us aa private sector and the Ministry of Tourism gives us hope in overcoming the crises,” said Ramy.

Insights from HORECA Talks 2024 at HORECA Lebanon, co-organized by Hospitality News Middle East and Hodema Consulting Services. Session moderated by Nada Alameddine, managing partner at Hodema Consulting Services, and Nagi Morkos, founder and manager partner at Hodema Consulting Services.

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