Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Damage Has Been Done!

It doesn't matter anymore if the opposition decides tomorrow to ask its protesters to return home and to seek a political solution (like the one that is floating right now which might just end the political impasse, a suggestion by PM Seniora to accept a 19-9-2 Cabinet line-up), the damage has been done!

Pierre Ashkar, the head of the Federation of Tourism Syndicates, mourned Tourism in Lebanon and claimed that it died in 2006 as a "martyr". Hotel reservations around the country have went from 90%, to 50% when Hizbullah threatened to take to the streets, and now 0%.

Here comes the more painful piece of news: It is projected that in the next two months, 15,000 employees in the tourism industry will be laid off.

15,000 livelihoods, 15,000 families, 15,000 dreams...imagine the ripple effects of such mass layoffs on the country. Where will all the 15,000 Lebanese men and women go? What will be their alternative? And this is only in the tourism industry, then how about in the retail industry?

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."


Matt said...

Just want to commend the lebanese for being a more open society than some of the more hardcore extremist middle eastern countries. Even with a slow economy, things will surely get better.

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FGA said...

Well perhaps Hassan Nasrallah will convince his friends in Iran to donate some cash, as long as that money is not spent on things that are 'haram'.

Yaman said...

That's interesting, Doha. Did you forget to mention that the reason for this drop in tourism was the Israeli war on Lebanon, not the protests by Hizballah? I hope your message is not "okay everybody, get ready for the White Man, we have to behave!!"

hummbumm said...

yaman, did you forget to mention why we had a war this summer? plus the most recent HA actions put a damper on any post conflict bounce. Plus statistics are for post war reservations, so yes summer was wash thanks to HA now christmas season is on its way out too... I am sure they will have a surprise for next summer as well!

hummbumm said...

by the way Doha, see the little blurb on remittances in the economist? lebanon is #5 in the world in terms of $ amounts of remittances only behind Mexico, China, Phillipines and India, but as a % of GDP we are #1 by far, an incredible 25.6% of Leb GDP stems from remittances. This partially explains how we have such crappy governance, such apathetic citizenry and how the country survives, but of course not a scenario for a country to flourish

Doha said...


the hotel reservations i'm talking about are the ones for this coming Christmas/Eid season.

Of course, in general the country was recovering from the war this summer, but this season, after a successful Eid il-Fitr season, was looking promising for retailers and the tourism industry, as many Lebanese who were not able to visit their families in the summer (like me), were planning to come this holidays season.

I just think that we, the Lebanese, might end up traveling home this holiday season, but I think that any foreigners will definitely forego Lebanon this time around as well.

Raja said...

oooh yaman, what a breath-taking observation! Doha, FGA, and those 15,000 unemployed people live to impress "the white man." (oops, sorry I forgot to capitalize)

except... wait. facts on the ground tell me otherwise. Facts, yaman, tell me that the overwhelming number of tourists that visit Lebanon are actually Lebanese expats and the "dark man" from those desert kingdoms to our south.

please yaman... the sort of language you used in this particular comment of yours does not belong on this blog. it belongs over at the Angry Idiot's blog.

As for the war in the summer, well... I don't even want to go there. All I have to say is the following: just as Hizballah is blameless for the protests and its consequences today, it is blameless for the carnage and destruction wrought upon the country in the Summer. You see, Hizballah is always blameless. How could it be blamed? For it is the party of God on earth, lead by the Victory of God on Earth and supported by God's followers on Earth.

raed said...

killo feda l sayyidd...
ta ta ta ta3 ta ta3 !!

FGA said...

Hassan Nasrallah admitted making gross strategic miscalculations in the past. He acknowledged that had he known the consequences of kidnapping the two soldiers he would have refrained from doing it. Unfortunately, Lebanon has paid a tremendous price simply so that Hassan wuld impress his pappy in Tehran. And now that Bashar is feeling lonely, Hassan is stepping up to the plate again.

Way to go Hassan..you are a real man!


Anonymous said...

The real damage is not economical, it is psychological.

People are starting to talk about civil war and getting militias, and the number of street fights is rising (apart for the Sassine fight which was intra-Christian, all of these fights are started by Shia militants in non-Shias neighbourhood)

turtlecurls said...

My sympathies. And the sympathy of everyone I know.


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