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A great ski season in Lebanon

1 min

The 2023-2024 ski season is nearing its end, and despite being short this year, it was a busy one.

Faraya, Man skiing on a deep slope in Zaarour © Mena Today 

The 2023-2024 ski season is nearing its end, and despite being short this year, it was a busy one.

Like last year, a longer than usual wait for snow delayed openings of the slopes.

Nevertheless, the season was a success. “The Lebanese turned out in force” even more than last year said Youmna Rizk, manager of Mzaar Ski Resort, the country’s largest ski resort located in Kfardebian, Kesrouan.

“As soon as the weather allowed us to open the slopes, people flocked. We soon realized that the Lebanese needed to come and ski, especially this year. This has enabled us to achieve our best turnover since 2019,” Rizk said.

Tourism in Lebanon, which was affected by the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic in the past years, was again compromised by the outbreak of conflict in the country after Oct. 7, 2023 between Hezbollah and Israel. Fears that the ski season would be compromised by the security situation were high.

But this did not happen. Far from deterring winter sports fans from hitting the slopes, the ongoing war in southern Lebanon — which has so far claimed more than 300 lives on the Lebanese side, including at least 46 civilians — has catalyzed a desire for fresh mountain air among many Lebanese who say they feel safe on the slopes.

“Many customers told us that they need to come to us to feel ‘like being in Switzerland’ for a day,” said Carole Murr, a member of the executive committee of Zaarour Club, located in the heights of Metn.

Besides residents, Lebanese expatriates, who visited the country in large numbers despite the security situation, also turned out in force. This influx of ex-pats has been particularly noticeable on the slopes of Faqra Club, which caters mainly to families.




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