Characterised by instability, the year 2007 has served to highlight Lebanon’s resilience by presenting a series of obstacles the country has every intention of tackling and every likelihood of overcoming.
“We continue to build and keep on planning for the future. This has always been the Lebanese mentality. Lebanon’s tourism industry is looking forward for the coming year with a measure of optimism, hoping that the uncertainty that plagued much of 2007 will soon be from the past,” a representative from the Lebanese tourism body said.
Lebanon’s location at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, and its natural beauty plus the fact that it is a nation that has left its mark on the world history and been shaped by many civilisations are its unique selling points. The country’s architectural heritage includes the cities and ruins of Aanjar, Baalbeck, Byblos, Tyre and Qadisha valley. There are also the Cedars forest which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Rich archeological sites and historical monuments include Stone Age settlements, Phoenician city states, Roman temples, Christian hermitages, Crusader Castles, Mameluk mosques and Ottoman hammams .
“Lebanese culture is a mixture of Oriental passion combined with European finesse, combined to produce a unique experience for the tourists. Sometimes, it seems like Lebanese hearts beat to host a wide array of tourists, given Lebanese people by nature are hospitable.
“It is almost by instinct they open their homes to visitors and are eager to interact with tourists. This nation is one of the world’s friendliest and most authentic hosts,” said the representative.
Lebanon’s cross cultural mix of differing religions and ethnic groups has proven to be the synergy and driving force behind the Lebanese people’s will to survive despite the continuing hardship which they are confident will be over soon, he added.