Steep road ahead for Lebanon
The world’s fastest-growing tourism destination has numerous problems to overcome, from political instability to the price of making a phone call.
March 21, 2010 12:37 by Rasha Reslan
As for internet services, Lebanese Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahas presented a plan in late January to raise bandwidths in Lebanon from a meager two gigabits per second (gbps) to 120 gbps. Lebanon is also expecting to connect itself to the International Middle East Western Europe 3 (IMEWE3) network by May, according to the minister.
“The governmental plan, which aims to increase internet capacity, will offer tourists better services,” says Dr. Safa from the Lebanese Centre for Policy Studies.
Fourthly, Lebanon must do more to cater for the growing number of eco-conscious tourists, by protecting the environment, limiting potentially harmful activity and encouraging healthy behavior.
“The Lebanese government should make sure that green areas remain green. In short, it should treat the root of the problem, which is the lack of enforcement of existing laws to protect the environment,” says Dr. Rania Masri, a professor in Environmental Sciences at the University of Balamand in Lebanon.
Despite the challenges, Lebanon’s tourism industry does have serious potential. Investments in infrastructure and road maintenance, better enforcement of traffic laws, and a liberalization of regulation governing air traffic, will all act to invigorate the industry. Paris may once again have a rival in the Middle East.