First Published: 2006-07-13

 
Tourists flee Lebanon to Syria
 

Thousands of tourists, mostly, from Gulf Arab countries, flee by road to Syria after Israeli raids.

 

Middle East Online

Tourism in Lebanon will be hit hard

MASNAA, Lebanon - Thousands of tourists, mostly Gulf Arab nationals, fled by road to Syria Thursday after Israeli air attacks closed Beirut international airport, an AFP correspondent said.

Men, women and children in private cars bearing licence plates from various Gulf countries crowded the highway, he said.

Many families also arrived at the borders in Lebanese taxis, but some drivers did not want to enter Syria and forced their passengers to call for Syrian taxis to meet them on the other side of the border, he said.

Travel agencies were also organising the evacuation of foreign nationals, mostly from Gulf Arab countries.

In Beirut, the embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was organising the transfer of its nationals to Syria.

Men wearing white robes, women in black veils and children boarded two buses parked outside the yellow stone villa housing the UAE embassy in the capital's seafront Jnah residential neighbourhood.

Arabs are the main source of tourism in Lebanon, which had been looking forward to a record season before Israel attacked in response to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah capturing two Israeli soldiers at the border on Wednesday.

 

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