The number of tourist arrivals in the first half of 2016 has risen, but the figure masks many underlying challenges faced by the Lebanese tourism sector. With the absence of Arab tourists, the sector no longer benefits from heavy spenders and Beirut’s hotels have not yet regained the high occupancy rates they used to enjoy prior to 2011. However, rural tourism is still a developing trend that holds some hope for those working in the sector. The cozy restaurants and hotels popping up mostly outside Beirut are proving to be appealing not only to resident Lebanese but also to Europeans and Americans which favor such leisure concepts.
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