he tourism industry in Lebanon has been historically important to the local economy and remains to this day to be a major source of revenue for Lebanon. Before the Lebanese Civil War, Beirut was widely regarded as "The Paris of the Middle East," often cited as a financial and business hub where visitors could experience the Levantine Mediterranean culture. Lebanon's diverse atmosphere and ancient history make it an important destination which is slowly rebuilding itself after continued turmoil. Lebanon offers plenty: from ancient Roman ruins, to well preserved castles, limestone caves, historic Churches and Mosques, beautiful beaches nestled in the Mediterranean Sea, world renown Lebanese cuisine, nonstop nightlife and discothèques, to mountainous ski resorts. Significant private investment is currently being made in the modernization and expansion of this sector and international hotel companies have returned to Lebanon. Casino du Liban, which historically constituted a major tourist destination, reopened in 1996. Lebanon is the only country in theArab world that offers skiing and related winter sports activities. The largest ski resort in the country has been expanded and modernized. The Government believes that, because of the return of peace and stability to the country and with the development of the necessary infrastructure, tourism will again contribute significantly to Lebanon's economy. Lebanon's tourism industry also relies on the large number of Lebanese living abroad, who return regularly to the country during the summer season. Contents [hide] * 1 Cultural tourism * 1.1 Archaeotourism * 2 Museums * 3 Religious Tourism * 4 World heritage sites * 4.1 Anjar * 4.2 Baalbeck * 4.3 Byblos * 4.4 Qadisha Valley and Cedars Forest * 4.5 Tyre * 5 Ecotourism * 5.1 Lebanese outdoors * 5.2 Winter Sports * 6 Leisure * 7 Lebanese cuisine * 8 Lebanese crafts * 9 Popular tourist destinations in Lebanon * 10 Lebanese festivals * 11 Statistics and economy * 11.1 Recent years * 12 Bibliography * 13 References * 14 External links| -------------------------------------------------
Old City of Sidon
Lebanon is considered to be a mosaic of cultural diversity, where the Eastern and Western worlds meet in all their unique and historical richness. FromStone Age settlements to Phoenician city-states, from Roman temples to rock-cut hermitages, from Crusader Castles to Mamluk mosques andOttoman hammams, the country's historical and archaeological sites are a true encyclopedia of ancient and modern world history. Lebanon has a long standing history of cultural tourism. Interest in the Lebanese Levantine culture was stirred following the visits of many Europeanorientalists, scholars and poets particularly Alphonse de Lamartine, Ernest Renan and Victor Guérin. Lebanon's cultural tourism focal points are historic monuments, archaeological sites, cultural venues, traditional art, rural customs, religious festivals and pilgrimage. Archaeotourism
Archaeology in Lebanon has an old and productive history, many archaeological sites have been excavated and some restored, yet many remain buried under inhabited areas within the cities. -------------------------------------------------
Main article: List of museums in Lebanon
Sursock Museum in Beirut.
* Beirut National Museum, established in 1937 the museum exhibits about 100,000 objects, most of which are antiquities and medieval findings with approximately 1300 artifacts ranging in date from prehistoric times to the medieval Mamluk period. * Gibran Museum, originally a monastery in Bsharri, it was transformed into a museum by the Gibran National Committee in honoring of the Lebanese American philosopher, writer, poet, painter and theologian Gibran Khalil Gibran. The museum exhibits Gibran's notebooks, furniture, personal library, and...