Operators are renewing tours of Lebanon following a change in the Foreign Office’s change in travel advice.
The FO has been advising against all but essential travel to the destination following the Lebanon War in the summer of 2006 when fighting broke out between Hezbollah military forces based in the south of Lebanon and neighbouring Israeli forces.
The war and change in FO advice led to the pulling of programmes in the country by UK tour operators. Now, following the change earlier this year, operators are resuming their Lebanese programmes with Cox & Kings already offering tailor-made trips while it is introducing guided tours in its 2010 programme.
Middle East product manager Mark Stacey, who visited the country last month, said: “There’s currently a peak in demand as people haven’t been able to visit in the last three years.”
Explore associate director of product Peter Crane added the operator’s tours to the destination were popular with customers due to the large amount of cultural sites.
He said the operator was reintroducing tours after being assured the infrastructure could again accept tourists, adding: “We’ve got very good ground agents out there who have been twiddling their thumbs for the last few years.”
Explore has scheduled three tours for 2009 from September onwards with a further three ready to go on sale should they sell out.
Pax Travel managing director Philip Dean said he would now reconsider introducing tours to the country as soon as possible following the change in advice.
He added: “Tours go from Libya into Syria so I’d need to see the borders and how easy it is to cross them.”
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