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Tourism in Lebanon to go up: Abboud

altTourism activity in Lebanon will improve by 10 to 20 per cent in 2010 and there will be no Israeli war on Lebanon, said Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud. “During the past two months, the number of tourists increased by 22 per cent which is a very good indicator and we expect this number to exceed two million in 2010,” he said. Abboud was talking to journalists during a press conference held at the ministry of tourism office in Beirut to highlight his tourism reform plan.
“I don’t think that there will be an Israeli war on Lebanon and nothing will keep us away from working on boosting our tourism sector,” he added. Abboud pointed out that the role of, and power granted to, the tourism ministry is limited as is the budget. “It does not even cover the needs of this sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abboud’s reform plan is divided into four categories. The first includes an increase in tourist police till it reaches 200 and the activation of the ministry hotline. “The role of the tourist police should not only be limited to repression but also to guide tourists and take care of their well being,” he said. The second category, he said, includes the establishment of the Promotion Lebanon Board which aims at improving the image of Lebanon in other countries. The third category, he said, includes work on enhancing medical, cultural, and religious tourism which he considers to be very productive. The fourth category, according to Abboud, is to increase the cooperation with the private sector.

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