‘Lebanon is a perfect destination for Indians’

India plays an important role in promoting Lebanon as a tourist destination, says H.E. Rabie Narsh, Ambassador of Lebanon to India. In an interview, the ambassador said that the Lebanese Tourism Authority will soon partner with several players of  India’s trade and tourism industry to attract tourists from all parts of the country to Lebanon. H.E. Narsh informed that there has been significant growth in the number of Lebanese visa applications from Indians.

 

Tell us about tourism in Lebanon. What has the country to offer as a tourist destination?

The nature of Lebanon makes it the only country in the Middle East that embraces four seasons yearly. Irrespective of the season, there is always something special to enjoy. In the winter season, ski resorts offer tourists slopes that are comparable to the best resorts in Europe. In the summer, international festivals all over the country—in Baalbek, Beiteddine, Byblos, Jounieh and many others—bring together Lebanese and foreign artists to perform in stunning archaeological and historical sites. These events have given Lebanon an enviable place on the cultural map of the Middle East. Visitors to Lebanon enjoy outstanding service in world-class hotels and resorts, restaurants, casinos, theatres, cinemas and nightclubs as well as luxury shopping centres along with advanced communication and transportation services.

Which forms of tourism are more popular in your country? What are the popular attractions?

The most popular types of tourism in Lebanon are cultural tourism, nature and adventure tourism (including attractions like beaches and mountains), shopping, and religious tourism. Lebanon is enriched with tourist attractions, both natural and man-made.

What are the new initiatives by the Government of Lebanon to promote tourism in the country?

Our Ministry of Tourism recently launched ‘Rethinking Lebanon 2025’, a campaign to craft slogans that reflect Lebanon’s identity. As part of the campaign, Lebanese people from across the globe have been invited to come up with creative slogans that reflect Lebanon’s cuisine, nightlife, hospitality, etc. The slogan is meant to promote ‘brand Lebanon’ on the international arena. The competition aims to engage and challenge Lebanese youth all over the world to help create a virtual community to revive patriotic feelings and a sense of belonging among the Lebanese people.

Could you tell us about Lebanon’s international tourist markets?

The tourism industry in Lebanon has been historically important to the local economy and remains to this day a major source of revenue for Lebanon. The country has experienced a remarkable tourism growth; people from across the globe are exceedingly willing to visit Lebanon and explore what it has to offer.

How important is India as a tourist market for Lebanon?

A large number of Indians are exploring Lebanon as I have noticed a significant growth in the number of visa applications received. India, a country of 22 million outbound tourists annually, plays an important role in promoting Lebanon as a tourist destination. Indians are evolved travellers, who believe in experiential travel and want to do things at their own pace. Lebanon is a perfect destination for this category of tourists, therefore, Indian tourists love Lebanon.

How do you plan to attract Indian tourists to your country?

 We plan to collaborate with several players of travel trade in India. We also have many activities and initiatives in the near future. We want tourists from all parts of India to witness the exquisite and serene Lebanon experience. In addition to the major tier-I cities, we also plan to promote the destination in tier-II cities of India. The historical, deep and warm relations between our two countries and peoples make my mission to promote Lebanon much easier and pleasurable.

What would be your advice for Indians planning to visit Lebanon?

Travelling to Lebanon is a mode of self-realization, exploration, experiencing different cultures and meeting new people. I advise my Indian friends to fully indulge in this exceptional experience and enjoy the touristic sites, cuisine, nightlife, nature and Mount Lebanon, among many others.

What is the visa process for Indians?

Thanks to our partner VFS Global, applying for a visa has become easier for applicants. We have been getting positive feedback from the people.

 Tell us about the flights between India and Lebanon?

Although there is no direct flight to Lebanon from India, there are future plans that Middle East Airlines would run direct flights to and from Delhi. Currently, many airlines fly to Lebanon from India through one-stop transits.

How do you see India as a country? What do you like most about India?

India is a magnificent multi-cultural country that has a wonderful history and a rich culture. Above all, I have been impressed by the warmth and genuineness of the hearts of the Indian people.


 

QUOTE 

 “We want tourists from all parts of India to witness the exquisite and serene Lebanon experience. In addition to the major tier-I cities, we also plan to promote the destination in tier-II cities of India.”


 

 

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