"5 Reasons to Visit Beirut"

I like this list by Time Travel not because of what it features, but because of what it left out: The mighty Beirut night life and the most awesome wonder in our entire galaxy: The Jeita grotto..

PS: I still believe in the theory that all these “go visit beirut” travel pieces are commissioned by Le Gray’s Publicist.

Update: Don’t you just hate it when these pieces pretend to be about “Beirut” but then talk about places from all over Lebanon?

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  • http://www.lifewithsubtitles.com Fadi

    It’s like saying Miami and California are among the top reasons to visit New York..

    And by the way, Le Gray hotel goes on the same list as Byblos ? I think I’m starting to believe your theory..

    • Mustapha

      Not only that, have you noticed that Le Gray was the only entry in that list that has a clickable link? I almost regret linking to it now..

  • CopyCat

    For every reason there is to visit Beirut, there are at least 50 not to. Time to build an international airport in the North or the Bekaa…

  • Matt

    To your Le Gray comment, the PR woman basically told me that directly earlier this year:

    In the 2009 and 2010 bumper years, which saw nearly 1.9 and 2.2 million tourists, respectively, Lebanon also succeeded in drawing non-Arab, and particularly Western, tourists. Part of that success, according to both Abboud and Rita Saad, public relations manager for the 5-star Le Gray hotel in downtown, was boosting Lebanon’s image in the international media by wining and dining journalists.

    Saad said the hotel’s marketing strategy largely eschews traditional advertising, opting instead to invite journalists to stay at the hotel and show them around Lebanon. She said the strategy is wider than only selling the hotel itself, focusing also on pitching both Beirut and Lebanon as attractive destinations.

  • Nadine

    This is legitimate PR work so why not?

    • Mustapha

      Yes and no,

      There’s definitely an element of deception here. There is no disclosure from Time that Le Gray has pampered their reporter with tactical munificence.

      As things stand, we are misguided into believing that Le Gray hotel, on its own merit, is an equivalent to Byblos and the Cornish. That doesn’t sound so legitimate to me..

  • Matt

    I agree that it’s legit PR. What’s a problem is the journalism. TIME, if indeed the reporter’s trip was paid for by the hotel, should have either: not allowed that to happen (i.e., pay themselves, tho that’s kind of a pipedream in the era of falling ad revenues, I guess, many news organizations don’t even do investigative reporting b/c it’s too costly) OR fully disclosed that the hotel paid. It’s basically a PR firm/person’s job to try and wine-and-dine journalists to get the most favorable story. However, ethically, journalists shouldn’t let that happen or accept gifts/free things.