• Sunday, June 2, 2024 at 8:47 AM
    Last Update : Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at 10:07 AM

Israeli Raids on South Lebanon Cause Severe Damage to Tourism

(AWP) - The tourist resorts in South Lebanon are faltering during the summer season, as tourists have not traveled to the area from abroad. The resorts are confining their activities to domestic tourism due to the continued Israeli raids on the area since the war on the Gaza Strip began on October 7, 2023.

“Now we are receiving visitors, but the current conditions do not encourage people to come to the area. Some are coming, however. We are 20 kilometers away from Naqoura, on the border,” said Bilal Jezzini, the director of a tourist resort between Tyre and Naqoura.

“I hope this situation does not last for long. The resort is a source of income for about 70 families, which is not a small number. In the meantime, the costs are high. We have carried the financial burden since November 2023, including employee salaries, electricity, water and municipality fees. Expenses are very high, while revenue is zero,” he explained.

As managers of the resorts are hesitant about opening for visitors, the seasonal workers who used to work in the sector are now facing the spectre of unemployment.

Aly Hallawy, who works in tourism each summer, said that the workers used to wait for the summertime in the tourist resorts in Naqoura, but they are not open this year.

“We are not sure whether they will open or not, because of the war. I am searching for a job, and hope to get one. The country has been damaged by the war,” he added.

Revenues from tourism make up nearly 40% of Lebanon’s gross domestic product (GDP), but the losses to the tourist sector have amounted to more than $150 million since the outbreak of the war on Gaza and the subsequent escalation in South Lebanon.