Amid conflicting reports issued by the World Bank and other international agencies, Lebanon is projected from one side to witness in 2016 a possible growth equivalent to 2.5% which will be higher than 2015, although not on average with other rampant Middle Eastern economies. However, from the other side it is a fact that the brain drain will continue unabated with Lebanese youngsters applying for emigration to developing nations.
In between there are three constants prevailing, and these are firstly the glamour of Lebanese designers of haute couture who dressed many of the stars at the Golden Globes award night. Secondly, is the Lebanese’ enduring capability to be the second receiver for the third year in a row of Syrian refugees worldwide, while absorbing the effects of this status especially in waste management, in hosting more than 1,250,000. And finally, the tourism winter season is full of snow where all ski lifts are running a swing opportunity to benefit from this leisure sport.
A source of comfort is the rising numbers of arrivals at the International Airport of Beirut in 2015, and this trend is helping many hospitality actors to shape their business plans and invest not only on the traditional sources but also on the meetings and conventions segment revealing to be very effective for the corporate side of business.
Whenever we add to this, gourmet tours, fashion shopping, wine tasting, and medical tourism, then undoubtedly Lebanon can cater in tandem to archaeology and history to all niche markets, including environmental trips to hidden trails and valleys.
Long ago, Lebanon, known as the Cedar Nation, was covered by large forests of cedar trees, the national emblem of the country. Today, forests cover 13.4% of the Lebanese land area with a few old cedar trees remaining in pockets of forests. The country is actively working to conserve and regenerate the forests and has created several nature reserves that contain cedars, including the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, the Jaj Cedar Reserve, the Tannourine Reserve, the Ammouaa and Karm Shbat Reserves in the Akkar district, and the Forest of the Cedars of God near Bsharri. This Cedar Nation is a sensory delight for travelers.