April 24, 2011

“It’s Easier to Sell Terrorism than Tourism”

It’s easier to sell terrorism than tourism in the news,” Kamal Mouzawak, owner of Tawlet, a restaurant in Beirut, is quoted saying in an article of the Financial Times.
Another juicy quote comes from Michael Karam; “The image of Lebanon is still guys with guns and beards, but the wine producers are now starting to tell people that we’re a wine-producing country. And I think Lebanese wine could be the sexiest in the world.”

I wanted to share this article with you about Lebanese wineries but The Financial Times says ‘Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web’. Now that’s a pity. Well, one more quote then. 'The novelty of “vines on the frontline” will have to wear off. And yet the reality is that – for all the downtown designer shops – the situation is fragile, which for some travellers will continue to add a frisson that Napa could never offer. '

I’ll have to paraphrase the rest. I learned some things about Lebanese wine. For instance, that the country has more than 30 wineries. I assumed they included even the ones that produce for their own use only; after all, I can come up with only 5 or 6 names. But no, these all can be bought on the market. I also thought they were all placed in the Beqaa. Seems I was wrong again, they’ve got a number of them on the coast, above Byblos. Ever heard of Château Belle-Vue? Apparently it produces just 15,000 bottles a year but the wine ‘is available by the glass at the Ritz in London.

Anyway, read the whole article for yourself here before I get sued for copyright infringement. I got it through a friend of mine (Thank you, Theo), who organizes wine trips from Holland to Lebanon. What do I get for plugging you, Theo?

Talking about plugging (A favorable public mention of a commercial product, business, or performance, especially when broadcast.), Le Gray must have some of the best PR Departments in the entire country. Every single travel article I have read about Lebanon and Beirut the past 2 years mentions the downtown hotel that opened its doors in 2009. See, I’m doing it as well.

Now if they get that guy/gal a job in the Ministry of Tourism, I am telling you, even tourism will sell.


ginger beirut said...

So true about Le Gray - it has been done time and time again but the Beirut travel articles just keep on at it. Tawlet is close behind.

xlpharmacy said...

Michael Karam, is great, I have seen a couple of quotes of him, and absolutely love thanks for this...