Tourism must be brought back to Lebanon

The United Nations World Tourism Organization said efforts were needed to be undertaken in order to promote tourism in Lebanon. The Secretary-General of the UNWTO told ministers from Islamic countries on Friday that he wants to see a strong effort made to redevelop the industry in Lebanon.

Only tourism can provide sufficient contact on a personal level to help put war-ravaged Lebanon back on its feet, Francesco Frangialli told a gather of about 60 ministers in Madrid.
The ministers were in Madrid to assess the effect of the recent Israeli offensive in Lebanon and the affects it has had on the tourism industry.

Tourism is a key source of income for Lebanon in recent years. According to AFP, approximately 1.3 million people visited the country in 2004.

In July, amid the war between Israel and Hezbollah, the UNWTO said it shares the concerns of the world community, about the situation in Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories. They noted that Lebanon relies on tourism as a central pillar of its economy.