Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

Prepared for tourists?

Prepared for tourists?

While, economists tend to measure tourism in visitor numbers, employment and/or contribution to GDP, an equally important gauge is the level of infrastructure development and the intensity of tourism “hotspots” (full of enthusiastic tour guides corralling tours through the nation’s must see sites). Theses abound at the pyramids, the Acropolis, St. Mark’s Square, the Louvre

Look who’s coming to town

This summer, Lebanon is riding on a wave of inbound tourism that is, by local standards, monumental. For the first time in recent memory, the month of June saw more than 100,000 arriving visitors. In relation to June 2003, the upward jump amounted to 37.43 % from 97,273 to 133,678 visitors, translating into a 26.4%

Cornering niche tourism markets

Tour operators report a 50% improvement in bookings over 2003; the streets of Bhamdoun are rocking; guides are having the best summer in three years and their busy season increased to six months…. But Lebanon wants more tourism. EXECUTIVE details how the country can get more by taking a look at tourism niches and sub-niches

Q&A: Roger Edde

The city of Byblos is one of five UNESCO world heritage sites in Lebanon. Its tourism potential is tremendous but much of it has lain dormant. Roger Edde, business tycoon and developer with international experience in Europe and the United States, is a member of an old influential family here. After establishing a beach resort

Lost in translation: the Elyssar plans

The large majority of building stock in any modern society needs to consist of affordable, social, smart residential units, which means a massive presence of low cost apartments. This is an inescapable attribute of the highly populous and predominantly urban human existence that defines our world. Lebanon, with its very high degree of urbanization and

Resorting to luxury: Lebanon’s new tourism

Lebanon’s new boom is tourism-related real estate. Significant developments – worth in excess of $4 billion – in this field have begun roughly four years ago and accelerated massively by this year. The Middle East’s largest resort project, Sannine Zenith, topped the list of headline-making projects by size. But other projects are also highly noteworthy,

Counting the profits

The position of modern banking in the global economy vastly exceeds the main functionality that banks fulfilled during their 600-year rise since the Medicis: financing trade and warfare and serving as safe havens in times of danger. The expansion of banking and finance into universal socioeconomic denominators has come at the price of intense interdependence

Still seeking quality

Merger Ability It is an accepted business paradigm that mergers can be instrumental in corporate growth, especially as positions in the top three companies are in many sectors associated with taking the lion’s share in total profits realized in the sector. However, the overall global picture shows that the majority of mergers are unsuccessful because

Q&A: Saad Azhari

Relying entirely on organic growth of their business, BLOM Bank carried the baton of leading the Lebanese banking sector in terms of assets for more than two decades. As the creation of the Audi-Saradar Group is exerting consolidation pressure at the top of the sector, EXECUTIVE wanted to know how BLOM Bank views recent developments

Promoting insurance

In the spring weeks leading up to the 2004 GAIF conference, Lebanese insurers engaged in a flurry of new product releases. Each of three fancy launch events presented results of collaboration between local insurers and partner firms, from a leading multinational insurer and an international finance firm, to well-known domestic players in banking and trade.

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