Lebanon is one of the most amazing countries all over the world. What are the potentials for the tourism in Lebanon, the obstacles that facing tourism and the solutions that can support and improve this sector? II- Body: A- Potentials of tourism in Lebanon 1- Geographical location 2- Climate 3- History and Culture a- Ancient Civilizations b- Religious heritage c- Lebanese cuisine B- Obstacles that faces tourism in Lebanon 1- War 2- Terrorism 3- Advertising C- Solutions to improve tourism in Lebanon
III- Conclusion : One who visits Lebanon is fascinated by the 7,000 year old little country. The weather is always moderate, the prices are very reasonable and, most of all the people are friendly. The Lebanese Republic stretches along 250 km of the picturesque Eastern Mediterranean coast. It is only 50 km wide, a Lilliput of a country which, on its total of 10452 km2 (4035. 54 sq. mi. ), is nevertheless endowed with all but the desert of nature’s features. About 120 km from Beirut. Known to the Lebanese as the Cedars of the Lord. Some of the remaining 400 trees are over 1500 years old.
The Cedar tree, majestic and indestructible, is the emblem of Lebanon and adorns its flag. The tourism industry in Lebanon has been historically important to the local economy and remains to this day to be a major source of revenue for Lebanon. Before the Lebanese Civil War, Lebanon was widely regarded as, “The Switzerland of the Middle East. ” Often being cited as a financial and business hub where visitors can experience the Levantine Mediterranean culture. Lebanon’s diverse atmosphere and ancient history make it an important destination which is slowly rebuilding itself after continued turmoil.
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Lebanon offers plenty: from ancient Roman ruins, to well preserved castles, limestone caves, historic Churches and Mosques, beautiful beaches nestled in the Mediterranean Sea, world renown Lebanese cuisine, nonstop nightlife and discotheques, to mountainous ski resorts. Potentials of tourism in Lebanon: 1- Geographical location Lebanon falls on the Eastern Mediterranean sea, between 33° 34′. 40 latitude north and 35° 36′. 40° longitude east. The country is located at the meeting point of three continents, and over the centuries it has been the cross roads of many civilizations whose trace may still be seen today.
In winter, the high peaks are covered with snow and in summer the limestone slopes glimmer white in the distance. Two rocky ranges traverse Lebanon parallel to the seacoast, separated by the high plateau of the Bekaa Valley. Its countryside is a place of rocks, cedar trees and magnificent ruins that look down from the mountains to the sea. 2- Climate Lebanon enjoys an essential Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and longer warm summers. The country is rain free between June and October. Visitors can count on 300 sunny days every year.
However, mountains are cold and snowy in winter. Average annual rainfall is about 1,000 mm in Beirut (40 inches), but much higher in the mountains. Warm clothes are essential in the winter. Lowest temperature may be as low as -4? C in the mountains, and 10? C on the coast. 3- History and Culture An interesting archaeological relic found throughout Lebanon is the hundreds of well-preserved mosaics from the Roman and Byzantine eras. Countless colorful, tiny stones form intricate images of mythological figures, religious deities, and geometric designs.
The mosaic is symbolic of modern-day Lebanon, which is a country characterized by a diversity of cultures, traditions, and religions interwoven through time. It is this unique diversity which fascinates travelers. Thanks to its location at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and Africa, Lebanon has been shaped by many civilizations throughout history. Its position as a meeting point for diverse peoples is evident in the extraordinary richness of its archaeological sites and historical monuments. From Stone Age settlements to Phoenician city-states, from Roman temples to rock-cut Christian hermitages, rom Crusader Castles to Mamluke mosques and Ottoman hammams, the country’s historical sites are a true encyclopedia of ancient and modern world history. Modern Lebanese society is characterized by this same cultural diversity. Most Lebanese people speak Arabic, English, and French. As you walk the streets of downtown Beirut, you will pass domed mosques and steep led churches, reflecting the country’s religious and architectural legacies – Sunni, Shiia, and Druze Muslims; Maronite, Eastern Orthodox, and other Christians; and many others.
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Regionally, each part of the countryside has its own local flavor, with different villages preserving different culinary, artistic, religious, or cultural traditions. * Religious heritage * Islamic Heritage Lebanon’s Muslim heritage can be traced to the 7th century A. D. , when Islam was introduced to the region by conquering Muslim armies from the Arabian Peninsula. The two major Muslim dynasties following the prophet Muhammad, the Umayyads and the Abbasids, ushered in a rich period of Islamic art, architecture, learning, and culture, and this tradition continues to flourish today.
The ancient trading city of Aanjar is the best example of the flourishing 8th century Islamic civilization under the Umayyads. Or, visit Tripoli, which has many ancient mosques and madrassas, to explore Lebanon’s vibrant Islamic culture. There are numerous mosques and spiritual places from the Sunni, Shiite, and Druze Muslim traditions throughout the country. A visit to the great medieval mosques in Beirut, Tripoli, or Saida (Sidon) can give you a taste of the long Islamic tradition of the country. * Christian Heritage Lebanon’s Christian heritage can be traced back to the Old Testament.
The famed Cedars of Lebanon are referred to numerous times in the Bible as symbols of beauty and strength. Moreover, Lebanese cedar wood was sent to Jerusalem for the construction of Solomon’s Temple. Jesus and his disciples preached in the cities of Sour (Tyre) and Saida (Sidon), and Christianity was brought to Lebanon by the apostle St. Peter. Lebanon is mentioned over 70 times in the Bible, and there are ancient Christian sites of interest scattered throughout the country. For example, the village of Qana, where it is believed Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine, is located in South Lebanon.
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In addition to the many Biblical sites in the South, the Qadisha Valley (“Holy Valley”), the seat of the Maronite Church, offers a wealth of hidden, rock-cut monasteries, grottoes, and sacred sites waiting to be explored. Visit the ancient ruins of Sour (Tyre), Baalbek, or other sites to discover traces of Lebanon’s Byzantine/Orthodox heritage. * Lebanese cuisine The Lebanese cuisine combines the sophistication of European cuisines with the exotic ingredients of the Middle and Far East. Although the Lebanese cuisine has a recent popularity throughout the world, its history dates back to pre-biblical times.
This eastern Mediterranean cuisine, which is located in a relatively small geographical area, has had a major influence on Middle Eastern cuisine and other neighboring culinary cultures. Nowadays, Lebanese cuisine is known throughout the world, especially with the recent emphasis on the health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine. The significant importance of this ancient cuisine has also inspired professional chefs and restaurateurs across the country to feature exciting Lebanese items on their menus. Here is a brief overview about some important touristic cities in Lebanon : Anjar : Inscribed as a world heritage site in 1984, Anjar was a commercial center for Levantine trade routes. At only 1,300 years old, Anjar is one of Lebanon’s newer archaeological sites. It was founded by the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid ibn Abdel Malek (in the beginning of the 8th century) and takes its name from the Arabic Ain Gerrah meaning “the source of Gerrah”, related to the Umayyad stronghold founded in the same era. The city’s wide avenues are lined with mosques, palaces, baths, storehouses, and residences.
The city ruins cover 114,000 square meters and are surrounded by large, fortified stone walls, over two meters thick and seven meters high. The rectangular city design is based on Roman city planning and architecture, with stonework and other features borrowed from the Byzantines. Two large avenues – the 20-meter-wide Cardo Maximus, running north to south, and the Decumanus Maximus, running east to west – divide the city into four quadrants. At the crossroads in the center of the city, four great tetrapylons mark the four corners of the intersection. * Baalbek :
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During the Phoenician era, Baalbek was a small village where a triad of fertility gods were worshiped ( Baal-Shamash, Anat, and Aliyan).
Little remains of the Phoenician structures of the city which was later named Heliopolis under the Hellenistic rule and extensively rebuilt by the Romans. After the arrival of the Romans to Phoenicia in 64 B. C. , the city was transformed to a celebrated sanctuary where a Romanized triad of gods was worshiped (Jupiter, Venus and Mercury) and it was overlaid during a period of two centuries by a series of colossal temples.
Modern-day visitors to Baalbek can enter the site through the grand Roman propylaea and walk through the two large colonnaded courtyards to reach the complex’s great temples. * Byblos: Byblos was inscribed as a world heritage site in 1984. Inhabited since the Neolithic age, it witnessed the arrival of successive civilizations, from Phoenicians and Crusaders to Ottoman Turks. Byblos is a historical Mediterranean region dating back thousands of years and closely associated with the spread of the Phoenician alphabet.
Obstacles that faces tourism in Lebanon: Lebanon’s tourism industry has suffered severe blows resulting from the civil war and political unrest that took place in the country. 1- War Lebanon suffered for along time from the Israeli attacks . Each time Israel attacked Lebanon the war led to a serious and huge destruction including the infrastructure, hotels and some touristic spots. This led to a decreased or low tourist activity in Lebanon. 2- Terrorism Today, Lebanon’s visitors are in decline in large numbers because of terrorism.
The bombing of Al-Hariri car in 2005, Nahr Al-bared war in 2007, as well as an unsuccessful missile strike against many important political and social characters, have forced governments around the world to warn their citizens that Lebanon is unsafe for tourist travel, which by some accounts is costing Lebanon at least one million dollars per day. 3- Advertising Lebanon suffers from the weak advertising campaign in the world . Although Lebanon is one of the most beautiful countries ever , but many people in the world don’t know where this country is located . hat important places it has and how beautiful its nature is . What can the Lebanese government do to improve the situation of tourism?? * Encourage internal tourism. * A lot of Lebanese areas are still behind when it comes to tourism and it is the government’s duty to work on encouraging different kinds of tourism activities for people to be able to reach all these areas.
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The government can make some agreements and deals to abolish VISA requirements. * Encourage hosting global festivals and important sports and artistic events. * Improve the transportation system. Advertising is the best way to attract tourists. * Trying to delete the image of terrorism and instability inside the Lebanese situation.