Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tourism or prostitution?

The ministry of tourism announced that there are 2 millions tourists in lebanon now. Of course the statement implies that this is an achievement given that it will positively impact the overall economy. The reality on the ground is yet different. The majority of those tourists come from the gulf (Some Lebanese coming from abroad are also counted among the 2 million by the way) and most of them only visit Down Town Beirut, Broumana, ALey, and Mameltain. Hence teh following conclusions can be drawn:
1) I am not sure they can be called tourists as they dont visit the known touristic cites in Lebanon (Baalbeck, Jbeil, Jeita grotto, Beiteddine) or the famous festivals that go on in the summer
2) Only less than 1% of the population (that already wealthy portion) benefits from those tourists, especially owners of down town cafes and restaurants.
3) None of them visited the Kaak seller at the entrance of Baalback or the owner of that shop in Jbeil
4) Ordinary people are only affected by the traffic, that they cannot access all restaurants since owners reserve table to gulfy tippers, and the insults they endure during the tourists' stay in the country (this one wants to pay for a night with this guy's boyfriend, this one thinks he can block the road with his hummer baring a saudi plaque, and ABC mall is now charging 2000 L.L. for its all year free parking)
5) why do those gulf tourists still come to lebanon if they only meet fellow gulfies?
6) More important: why do the insulted lebanese still go to those down town restaurants at the end of the touristic season. Isn't there any dignity left to boycott them?
7) What pride is there in having a state whose economy is based on touristic prostitution?

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