Image Source: AFP
Lebanon tourism operators and associations claim the countrys hospitality and tourism industries are suffering following the national smoking ban laws that were implemented in September.
The protested ban prevents smokers from lighting up in all closed public spaces, according to The Daily Star.
The tourism sector is amid an unprecedented crisis... we have accumulated vast losses since the implementation [of law 174] started, Head of the Restaurants Association Paul Ariss said.
The law was passed at the wrong time when the sector was already suffering from a sharp decline caused by political and security turmoil that [caused a sharp fall in the number] of tourists.
Head of the Union of Tourism Syndicates in Lebanon Pierre al-Ashkar said he warned politicians of the detrimental effects of the ban earlier last month.
We met with the prime minister and told him that implementing such a law in the current exceptional security situation in the country is likely to produce greater loss in the tourism sector, Mr al-Ashkar said.
Heads of the Lebanese Franchise Association and Hotels Association also called for amending the law.
We demand that some aspects of the law are reconsidered after it damaged thousands of businesses and threatened jobs, Head of the Lebanese Franchise Association Charles Arbid said.
We are not calling to cancel the smoking ban but [for a law] that takes our business into account, Head of the Hotels Association Pierre Achkar said.
Head of the Chambers of Commerce Mohammad Choukeir had requested the Lebanese government consider issuing licenses to institutes specialised in nargileh (smoking waterpipe).
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T