Traveling for the Lebanese: An expression of hedonism

Traveling is no longer a luxury only afforded by the elite, as it used to be in the preceding eras.
by Perla Kantarjian

27 May 2019 | 15:48

Source: by Annahar

  • by Perla Kantarjian
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 27 May 2019 | 15:48

A Lebanese tourist in Meteora, Greece. (Photo courtesy of Akhtamar Tour Operators)

BEIRUT: As the excitement of summertime begins, cosmopolitan Lebanese rush to select their vacation-spots and cross countries off their overflowing bucket lists.

For the love of travel, some hardworking Lebanese folk juggle multiple jobs while still preserving an adventurous, outgoing life characterized by a constant desire to explore new places.

“Ever since I could walk,” Lina Sakr, a travel enthusiast, told Annahar, “my parents made sure to fill my passport pages with new stamps.”

In Sakr’s words, “traveling is a priority,” and a life spent in one place is not worth living. For that reason, she works by daytime and browses the net by nighttime, searching for and planning her next trip.

Elio Ghattas is another travel enthusiast who shares Sakr’s mindset. According to him, “there's nothing that satisfies the Lebanese love for pleasure more than the experience of seeing new countries!”

Traveling is no longer a luxury only afforded by the elite, as it used to be in the preceding eras. Lebanese citizens now have the option to take out travel loans from a myriad of banks, while also benefiting from a wide variety of travel packages being offered within the travel and tourism industry.

Akhtamar Tour Operators, a prominent name in the tour-operating field, explained the fluctuation in their clientele demands to Annahar. “This year,” they said, “clients are mostly requesting tours to central Europe, Southeast Asia, and North Africa.”

They added how in the early 2000s, Lebanese travelers would prefer playing it safe and only going to the famous touristic spots, such as Paris and London. “But now, thanks to the positive benefit of the internet,” they continued, “people can see that every country, no matter how culturally or measurably distant, offers a unique travel experience.”

Lebanese tourists can be spotted in any corner of the world! However, these countries are a few of the ones they visit most:

Greece

When people picture a holiday in Greece, they imagine warm walks by the crystal-blue sea, sunbathing in the scorching sun, and blessing their palates with the delicious Greek cuisine. This small European corner offers Lebanese tourists a relaxing, affordable escape that is also culturally enlightening.

Berlin, Germany

With its wild nightlife, cultural features, historical landmarks and creative dwellers, Berlin grabs the Lebanese travelers that are searching for an edgy vacation to a city that embraces freedom.

Barcelona, Spain

One of the most visited cities in Europe, Barcelona is a spot that most Lebanese travelers hold dear. With its distinctive Modernist architecture, familiar Mediterranean vibes, broad beaches and a wide variety of shopping centers and markets, Barcelona is a not-to-be-missed holiday spot for any Lebanese globetrotter!

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

With its less-than-an-hour flight duration, amazing sandy beaches and lively club scene, souvenirs from Ayia Napa have made their way into the houses of almost all Lebanese travelers (and their loved ones)! 

Armenia

One of the most ancient nations, Armenia offers pleasures of diverse types to the Lebanese traveler. This Eurasian holy land is praised for its lush greenery, beautiful architecture, remarkable cultural landmarks, mouthwatering cuisine, and inexpensive prices.

No wonder why Beirut-Yerevan flights are being packed!

Prague, Czech Republic

The overall charm of this central European capital city has left many Lebanese travelers in awe. Prague boasts of stunning architectural masterpieces, breathtaking sunsets, and a ravishing musical scene. It's also widely referred to as the beer capital of the world!

Paris, France

This city of love is the land of Champs Élysées, Avenue Montaigne, Tour Eiffel, Cafés, great shopping spots and magnificent picturesque areas. What more could a Lebanese traveler want?

Istanbul, Turkey

Apart from the business-related incentives for traveling to Istanbul, Lebanese tourists benefit from an affordable holiday in a historical city with a multicultural background. Istanbul is the-place-to-go for seriously cheap shopping, and we all know how the Lebanese love doing that! It also offers a vibrant nightlife, international cuisines, and eye-soothing city views.

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