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Tourism strategy targets Latin America
MEA not planning direct flights to continent
The Ministry of Tourism launched a new promotional and marketing strategy aiming to attract expatriates living in Latin America, mainly in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. This step comes in line with the Ministry’s recent policy of searching for new potential markets.
The Ministry said that the local market is in real need for the Diaspora as an alternative source for sustainable income, especially given the current economic slowdown.
The strategy includes participating in international tourism exhibitions. Lebanon has already been part of touristic exhibitions held in the past two years in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
The Ministry said that they are trying to cooperate and communicate with the Latin American press and travel agencies to bring back nostalgia to the expatriates there.
It also said that it is working to create a direct flight route between Beirut and South America. But Nizar Khoury, Head of the Commercial Department at the national flag carrier, Middle East Airlines, said that the company does not have any intention to start direct flights to Latin America in the near future.
“We have previously launched flights to Sao Paulo, but it was not beneficial for the company, so we ended them,” he said. According to him, MEA conducted feasibility studies proving that direct flights to Latin American countries are not profitable.
“We already have agreements with different airlines in the Sky Team to bring travelers from these countries, and going there on our own is not expected for the time being.”
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Oct 09, 2013
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