Tourism in Lebanon
Lebanon is characterized by many of the archaeological and natural tourist attractions that exist and extend on its territory, as well as the tourism culture it contains throughout history.
Many European orientalists such as Alphonse de Lamartine, Ernest Renan, and Victor Green contributed to highlighting the Lebanese culture in the Levant through their visits to this country.
Tourism in Lebanon constitutes one of the state's most important financial revenues, as it depends heavily on Lebanese expatriates who return to spend their vacations inside the country during the summer.
The Lebanese antiquities vary in a way that reflects the history of the ancient and modern world: it contains many Roman temples, Phoenician cities, Crusader castles, Ottoman baths, Mamluk mosques, ancient churches...
In addition to the natural features it contains, such as the beautiful beaches located on the Mediterranean Sea, in addition to the limestone caves.
Lebanese cuisine is considered one of the most famous international cuisines, and it is also one of the most Arab countries in which winter sports such as skiing can be practiced, through many mountain ski resorts.
Lebanon is also known for its prosperous and active life during the night.
The importance of tourism in Lebanon
The tourism sector in Lebanon is considered one of the most important economic sectors in the country and one of the most growing, as the growth rate of this sector has reached 10% since 2014.
This sector, which is considered a major source of income and job opportunities, constituted 2018 19.1% of the total domestic income in Lebanon. The value of tourism revenues in Lebanon this year amounted to 10.4 billion US dollars.
At the end of the year, the number of tourists reached nearly 1.9 million, with Europeans occupying the largest proportion of this number, accounting for 36% of the total number of tourists, followed by Arabs with up to 29%.
This large number of tourists is accompanied by a large amount of financial spending by these tourists. Saudi citizens spent 14% of the total percentage of tourists spending in 2017, followed by Emiratis at 12% and Kuwaitis at 7%.
The tourism sector occupies an important place in the volume of investments entrusted to it.
The volume of investment in the tourism sector amounted to 1.3 billion dollars in 2018, and it is expected that the volume of these investments will increase by 2.7 percent over the next decade.
The tourism sector in Lebanon has provided 144,300 direct jobs, which is equivalent to 6.7% of the total jobs available in the country.
Types of tourism in Lebanon
Cultural and Recreational Tourism in Lebanon
Lebanon is characterized by the presence of many cultural and archaeological attractions that extend over different parts of its territory.
Including the ruins of Baalbek; The ruins of the Lebanese city of Baalbek are considered one of the most important historical landmarks of Lebanon and its archaeological treasures. Since the year 9000 BC, Baalbek was one of the places on which many different ancient civilizations were founded.
In addition, the Beirut National Museum is a comprehensive place that contains many monuments that embody the succession of civilizations and the great cultural heritage of Lebanon.
Natural tourism in Lebanon
Lebanon contains many natural tourist sites, including the Jeita Grotto, which is considered one of the natural caves within the Lebanese Keserwan region.
In addition, the Al-Shouf Cedar Reserve extends over vast areas and covers the equivalent of five percent of the total area of Lebanon. The territory of this natural reserve, which covers an area of about 500 km2 (50,000 hectares), contains a quarter of the remaining cedar forest in Lebanon.
Among the other natural places in Lebanon, the Batar Gorge waterfall is one of the best places to visit, as it is characterized by the beautiful nature that surrounds it and an ideal view.
Rural tourism in Lebanon
Rural tourism is the opposite of classic tourism, in which the visitor means urban areas with modern urban features and high population density. Tourist of this type wants to go to the countryside and villages to achieve a real interactive experience with their local residents.
Tourists are seen, while practicing this type of tourism, mixing with the residents of these areas and practicing with them many activities such as farming, harvesting singing, and sometimes making their traditional foods, in addition to attending local festivals, visiting religious places and factories, horse riding, fishing and other things.
Those involved in the rural tourism sector in Lebanon were able to take advantage of the country’s attractive rural areas represented in reserves, forests, and rural guest houses to transform it into a prominent tourist destination at the regional and international levels, based on the entrepreneurial spirit enjoyed by the Lebanese, and their sense of innovation and creativity. In addition to their diverse experience in developing rural tourism projects.
This was represented in the spread of food and traditional products markets, agricultural and cultural tourism activities, camping activities, and other unique activities, which resulted in many economic and social benefits that came as a result of increased investment activity, and the programs responsible for financing this type of initiatives and projects.
Religious tourism in Lebanon
Lebanon has a diverse cultural and religious heritage. Over time, this country was the birthplace of two of the world's largest and most widespread religions, Islam and Christianity.
This was reflected in making the Lebanese society rich in religious beliefs and cultural pluralism.
Among the religious landmarks in Lebanon are; The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon, which is located on the Harissa plateau overlooking the Gulf of Jounieh, where religious Christian rites such as prayer and marriage ceremonies are held within this cathedral. The number of pilgrims to this holy place doubles during May, which is the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
In addition to the Great Omari Mosque, parts of which were built on the remains of one of the Crusader castles. The construction of this mosque in Sidon dates back to the end of the thirteenth century. The minaret of the mosque was built by the Ottomans in the nineteenth century.
And from the other religious world in Lebanon; Saint Maron Monastery Annaya.
The Great Mosque, and many more.
Best times to travel in Lebanon
Lebanon is characterized by the warmth of its winter, so the months between December and March are considered to be somewhat warm months, with temperatures ranging between 10-20 degrees Celsius, making this place an environment full of beautiful contrasts that encourage tourists to visit many historical monuments along the way. The coast and practicing some winter sports without being exposed to the harsh winter cold.
The spring, especially the months of April and May, is a great opportunity to discover the natural beauty of this country, where the weather is closer to ideal with temperatures rising to 15 degrees Celsius in mountainous environments, and between 15-25 degrees Celsius in the coastal areas.
The months between June and September provide the visitor with an excellent summer atmosphere, which makes this country a distinct tourist destination, as the summer weather and temperatures ranging between 20-32 degrees Celsius urge tourists and Lebanese alike to head towards the coast to enjoy the sunshine and the clarity of the weather.
While lovers of less warm weather can head to the mountainous areas, where temperatures range between 6-22 degrees Celsius.
Apart from all this, travelers looking for pleasant trips in the apple plantations in the north and citrus in the south, and the experience of visiting historical monuments in an atmosphere far from the crowds, can head to this country in the fall, especially during October and November, when temperatures range between 5 -20°C in mountainous areas and 15-28°C in coastal areas.
The most important tourist activities in Lebanon
The biodiversity that Lebanon has acquired as a result of its distinguished geographical location creates an ideal tourist destination for lovers of nature and its manifestations.
Between the trees of the towering cedar forests, the white mountain peaks, and the fresh rivers fed by the melting snow, there are a variety of tourist activities that the tourist can practice during his vacation.
The blue sky and fresh air, the warmth of the Mediterranean waters on which the sun is reflected in its rays, and the resorts built on the beaches in abundance are attractive to visitors, especially those who are tempted to practice some sports such as swimming, diving, and surfing, while lovers of adventure and excitement find in this country what It satisfies their passion for other sports such as archery, mountain biking, and skydiving from high altitudes.
Skiing and winter sports in Lebanon
Lebanon has many places where one can practice skiing or other winter sports.
These places vary between the glacial plateaus that you can go to accompanied by a group of tour guides and adventurers, and those tourist resorts that provide their visitors with the possibility of snowboarding for all levels, as well as the sports equipment they provide for this type of sport.
Lebanon contains six resorts for skiing and snowboarding. These resorts differ in the height of their locations and the level of services and infrastructure available to them, with some products that you can spend time in by subscribing to their membership.
Hiking and climbing in Lebanon
A visitor to Lebanon can take a walk through many diverse places that are distinguished by their different terrain and the beauty of their scenery, as well as many historical places, and many people organize tourist trips with the aim of hiking and exploring the sites.
The Tannourine Cedar Reserve and Horsh Ehden Reserve are among the nature places as Shouf Nature Reserve, which is famous for its great hiking and walking convenience.
You can also experience hiking in many cultural sites in Lebanon such as the Qadisha Valley and Makmel Park.
You can also experience a wander through Adonis Valley, which is famous as the site of an epic love story according to some Greek myths.
And if one wants to experience a more exciting and exciting adventure than roaming and hiking, Lebanon is a suitable place for such a matter, as Lebanon is one of the few countries that contains a variety of mountaineering options, due to the presence of many easy peaks or even those Which needs super climbing skills.
As well as many areas with rocky sections classified according to the French classification system from 3 to 8, such as the Tannourine region.
The tourist can obtain the topographic maps of climbing through a tour company that organizes a variety of climbing trips that take into account all levels and skills.
Mount Hermon, which reaches a height of 2,814m, and Mount Makmel are values that present a difficult challenge for practitioners of this sport.
Shopping in Lebanon
While practicing some sports is a passion for many tourists, others see their passion in practicing all kinds of shopping.
He will find in many Lebanese areas such as Ashrafieh, Hamra, Jounieh, and other areas that were able to keep pace with international fashion lines in Rome, Paris, and London.
The beholder sees the reflection of all this in the design of clothes, ornaments, interior home decorations, and other designs that are characterized by modernity, elegance, and sophistication.