According to Naharnet, Saudi Arabia has plans to end the ban on traveling from the area to Lebanon. Prior to this ban being ended Saudi nationals were ordered to stay out of Lebanon due to concerns about security issues.
On May 2nd an ambassador from Saudi traveled to Lebanon with his family to perform diplomatic duties and as a result, it is felt the ban is no longer necessary.
Safety Meetings Held
The Daily Star reported that a meeting that took place between ministers and ambassadors determined that security in Lebanon was much better than it had been in the past and that it was now safe for tourists to visit. A new security plan was put into place to make Lebanon safe for tourists again.
The Enactment Of The Ban
It was the middle of 2012 when the ban on visiting Lebanon was first enacted. This came to be in light of the fact that there were many suicide car bombings in the area.
These bombings were said to be related to the crisis Syria was going through. As a result many U.S. states located along the Gulf decided that their residents would not be permitted to travel to Lebanon. Now that the security has been heightened again, tourists from the Gulf are now being encouraged to travel to Lebanon in light of the decrease in the danger of going there.
A Threatened Presidential Election
The fact that this ban has been lifted is good news for Lebanon, because their presidential election is currently in a stalemate and that may change now as a result of these recent events.
Lebanese Government Promises Increased Tourist Safety
The Lebanese government has promised that they will be working hard to make Lebanon increasingly safe for tourists. Authorities are particularly concerned with making sure that all Saudi citizens that travel to Lebanon will be safe while they are there.
The hope is that the security plan Lebanon has enacted will continue to grow in strength and help repair the damage that the ban did to the Lebanon economy. Their two main goals right now are to make Lebanon a safer and more productive destination as well as to do their part to help bring tourists back to Lebanon this summer.
Conflict With Neighboring Countries
Before this ban was ever put into place, Lebanon was a popular vacation destination for many tourists. When the conflict with Syria began, that was compromised and tourists have been avoiding Lebanon in droves.
Residents of countries such as Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar were greatly discouraged from visiting out of fear that they would be subject to attacks by those people who support Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria.
A conflict such as this has been a problem in the country since 2011 and both Qatar and Saudi Arabia have declared that they support those fighting to have al-Assad removed from his position of power as President.
Only time will tell whether or not the ban on travel to Lebanon will remain lifted. There is always the hope that peace will come about after safety in Lebanon is strengthened even more so than it has been already. The ultimate goal is to make Lebanon a popular tourist destination once again.