From short to long skirts, from extravagant to budget travelers, Lebanon welcomes every summer tourists from around the globe looking for an oriental twisted vacation. They can be listed in these 4 main categories:
Sandals and camera
These tourists are usually young and enthusiastic, looking for adventures; they travel light without a specific schedule, very passionate about new experiences in Lebanon. Many fall in love with the daily Lebanese life, this mad anarchical life they miss in their western home countries.
Mingling with the local community is their main motivation, they ask a lot of questions and we feel proud answering them by glorifying our country or criticizing it when we feel ashamed of a road pothole or an electricity blackout.
They rarely take photos of themselves posing, but rather photos of every corner in Beirut, of the food dishes, of nature, of people they meet along the way that could be the taxi guy or the “dekkanjeh” near their place of stay. Their low budget allows them to spend less but stay longer in Lebanon, in youth hostels or finding a small old apartment to rent.
Lebanese with jet lag
This category of travelers visits Lebanon once per year, in summer or for Christmas and Al-Fitr holidays. Usually coming from long distance countries like Australia, United States, Canada and Brazil; they always need few days to reset their body clock back to normal.
Once in Lebanon, they visit every member of the big family around long tables of copious Lebanese food. Their western accent is clearly noticed in conversations as well as their fashion trends, while old family members are always looking to arrange a “meeting” for the young girls and boys with a local “3arees or 3arous la2ta”.
Arabs seeking leisure
Good weather and the western aspect of Lebanon are behind the numerous inflows of Arabs from the Gulf region. Since the beginning of the new millennium, Lebanon is perceived like a beauty destination for woman looking for plastic surgery, nose job, shopping, and other spa services. Add to that the sense of freedom they look for, away from their strict society.
It also applies to men who mainly seek entertainment in nightlife, long parties, gambling, beaches and other gastronomical experiences.
Lebanese with multiple credit cards
They’re not really tourists but they act like ones, although their trips to Lebanon is quite often they still fancy to look like busy businessmen at the airport, talking on the phone with a quick walk. These are Lebanese who moved during the last decade to countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar.
They like to hang out in touristic places, wearing the latest trend of clothes and sunglasses, always comparing Lebanon with their different life abroad. Credit cards are considered a luxury more than a commodity, the darker it is, the more they brag about it.
Worth the mention:
- Families and friends visiting the 13,000 United Nations corps in South Lebanon.
- Lebanese residing in African countries. Wealthy but modest.
- And our permanent 1.2 million tourists since three years now.