Skiing Becoming Popular, Lebanon Bouncing Back by Elisabeth Lang

Nov 2010 –

(eTN) – Going skiing in Lebanon?? Why not? It might sound strange, but Lebanon really does have it all, including 6 ski resorts! The country’s mountain area is receiving increasing interest, especially from Arab travelers. It is one of the only countries in the Middle East where the skiing season runs from December to April and is just a 2-hour drive from Beirut. The skiing village of Kfardebian is becoming increasingly popular, with new boutique hotels that opened this year, and ski resort, Mzaar (ex Faraya-Mzaar), is boosting about the opening of InterContinental Mountain Resort & Spa – the only InterContinental hotel in the world with direct access to ski slopes.

In 2010, Lebanon has seen considerable growth in the tourism industry, which can be attributed mainly to the return of stability and peace in the country and to the rapid development of several locatons in the captial and main cities of Lebanon.

Beirut has been number one out of 44 destinations, according to the New York Times and has also been designated as the “World Book Capital City 2010.” With Beirut being the cultural epicenter of Lebanon, Beirutis live life to the fullest here, taking in all the city’s gastronomic delights and activities until the early hours of the morning.

While Arabic is Lebanon’s official language, English and French are widely spoken. Most Lebanese speak at least two or three languages, and visitors will find no problems communicating, which helps travelers a lot.

This year, Lebanon is unparalled in terms of accolades and attractions and is aiming to receive 2 millions arrivals by the end of this year. The average stay in Lebanon is 9 days, with 77% percent of the tourists staying in Beirut, said Lebanon Tourism Minister HE Fady Abboud during at press conference in London at the World Travel Market (WTM).

“But we cannot cope with a tourist increase of more than 10-15% percent,” the Tourism Minister stated, “In our country you get value, good value, for money, and it also [is] one of the safest countries.”

The total European vistors to the country was 453,522, of which UK visitors were the third largest to visit Lebanon, totaling 50,027, after France and Russia.[…]

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