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The New Arab Staff

Beirut blast wreaks havoc on tourism industry, leaving hundreds unemployed

The tourism industry is one of the country's leading economic sectors [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 August, 2020

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The Beirut explosion has destroyed businesses that managed to withstand the country's economic crisis.
More than 10,000 tourism establishments were damaged from the Beirut blast last week, Tony Ramy, who heads an industry syndicate told a local paper.

"More than 100 thousand workers in the tourism sector out of 150 thousand have become unemployed," Ramy, President of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Night-Clubs and Pastries in Lebanon said.

Lebanon's economy is heavily reliant on the tourism sector, while the majority of tourism-related businesses are concentrated in the capital. 

"70 percent of the tourism density in Lebanon is concentrated in the Greater Beirut area," Ramy told Al Akhbar

The blast damage affected more than 10,000 establishments, including hotels, restaurants, nightblubs, cafes, car rental companies, furnished apartments, sweets and patisseries, according to the syndicate.

"Most of [the hotels in the area] were damaged, especially the larger ones that had to close, such as Venice, Le Gray, Hilton, Four Seasons, Monroe, and others," the head of hotel owners Pierre Ashkar was quoted as saying.

On Wednesday, Le Gray, a luxury hotel – nearly a kilometre from the site of the explosion – released a statement announcing its closure after sustaining "massive damages".

Read also: #SayTheirNames: The victims of Beirut blasts

"Le Gray, Beirut management sadly announces the closure of the hotel until further notice, thanking the Almighty for having saved the lives of their guests and employees," the statement said.

Lebanon was already facing its worst economic crisis since its 15-year civil war several decades ago before the blast, which claimed over 150 lives and destroyed 300,000 homes.

A now-lifted coronavirus lockdown has also devestated local businesses.

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