Society articles

Joseph Sarkis- Minister of tourism

Joseph Sarkis was appointed minister of tourism in the new cabinet. Here, he talks to Executive about this year’s downturn, the balance between security and tourism, and his hopes for public-private sector cooperation in promoting Lebanon as a major tourist destination. E To what extent has the tourist sector suffered this year? It is obvious

Getting tourism off the ground

Joumana Azzi Branch manager at Wild Discovery Travel & Tourism E How many Lebanese are taking holidays abroad on an annual basis and how has this figure evolved over the last few years? What characterizes the outbound Lebanese tourist market? Is the trend of package tours catching on? While we do not have exact figures

Time to take us Seriously

While the saying goes that “you can’t please all the people all the time,” it seems in our Lebanese politico-economic scene, that many ‘leaders’ and ‘leaders-to-be’ keep wishing to challenge that proverb. Is it that they are attempting to become the exception that confirms the rule in gaining a growing recognition? Or is it that

Fast Track to Growth

Until the assassination of Mr. Hariri and the subsequent uncertainty, Lebanon had, for the previous 18 months, enjoyed relatively robust economic activity, which allowed for the replenishment of reserves, better GDP growth in 2004, vigorous financial sector liquidity, and, through swaps, more efficient management of the country’s debt stock, which in turn allowed for the

Q&A: Pascal Gauvin, GM Phoenicia

The massive explosion that ripped through former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri’s motorcade also damaged the nearby Phoenicia Intercontinental, arguably the jewel in Lebanon’s post-war tourist sector. On the day of the bomb, was running at 80% occupancy. Since then, the hotel has been losing tens of thousands of dollars a day and when EXECUTIVE

It ain’t easy being green but industry is adapting

Last month saw two major local cement producers, Holcim Lebanon and Cimenterie Nationale, both acquire an ISO 14001 accreditation – the International Standard Organization’s guideline for environmental management tools – and later announce that they planned to invest more than $5 million over the next five years and $15 million in the next four years,

Opening the doors to patients – and controversy

Lebanon’s largest public hospital, the very modern $150 million, 544-bed Beirut Government University Hospital in Bir Hassan, has opened its doors and hopes to be self-sufficient within three years. However, its critics have called it a waste of money in a sector that already has a surplus of hospital beds and question its viability in

Tourism Voices – High flying times

Pierre Achkar: President of the Lebanese Hotel Association and owner of the Printania Palace Hotel in Broummana E: How many hotel rooms will Lebanon be able to offer its visitors by the end of 2005? How many should it be able to offer? What are the requirements for healthy and sustainable hotel industry development in

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