The Minister of Tourism of Lebanon, H.E. Mr. Avedis Guidanian; the President & CEO of City Sightseeing Worldwide, Mr. Enrique Ybarra; the Lebanese Deputy, H.E. Mr. Nicolas Sehnaoui; and the CEO of City Sightseeing Lebanon, Ms. Viviane Nasr inaugurated Lebanon’s first City Sightseeing operation in Beirut. City Sightseeing Beirut brings the first Hop-on Hop-off service to the country and, at the same time, allows the Lebanese capital to join the global brand’s portfolio of over 100 cities, including world-class destinations such as New York, Dubai, Barcelona, Singapore, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Moscow.
The opening ceremony was filled with cultural entertainment, local cuisine, and the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony to inaugurate the first City Sightseeing operation in Lebanon.
Enrique Ybarra said: “City Sightseeing is not only expanding to mature tourist destinations but also to emerging ones where the company can contribute to a country’s economic development by working hand-in-hand with local communities. Additionally, entering emerging markets gives way to more sustainable tourism, something we are proud to be part of”.
“This new operation strengthens our presence in the Middle East, where we already operate in Dubai and Sharjah, UAE, and Al-Madinah, Saudi Arabia. We are very proud to welcome Beirut to the City Sightseeing international portfolio, as it will allow us to offer our more than 200 industry partners a new and exciting destination for international travellers to enjoy”.
Viviane Nasr: “It is an honour to be the pioneer in using the Hop-on Hop-off concept in Lebanon. I am really very thankful to City Sightseeing for supporting me and I am sure it will be a great success in the city and an amazing way to showcase the country. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank my partners who believed in me and in the project: Joumana & Elie Azzi, Joelle Rizkallah, Fady Maalouf and Jihad Achkar.”
“The Lebanese people are so excited and so happy because City Sightseeing has finally landed in Beirut. They are proud of it! This is not a project, this is my dream come true…”
The City Sightseeing Beirut tour takes visitors through the most iconic areas of Beirut, one of the oldest cities in the world and an emerging destination full of history and attractions to entice visitors.
Highlights of the tour are: Martyrs’ Square and Mohamad al amin Mosque (Stop 1), the Cathedral of St. Elian & St. Gregory the Illuminator (Stop 2), St. Nicolas Stairs (Stop 3), The National Museum (Stop 8), Raouche Rock (Stop 10), Zaitunay Bay (Stop 12), Beirut Souks (Stop 13), Roman Baths & St. Louis Capuchin Cathedral (Stop 14).
The route has a duration of 90 minutes and travellers can hop on and off at any of the 15 stops. There is a 30-minute frequency between buses and pre-recorded commentary is available in six languages.
Ticket fares range from $33 for the simple 24-hour Hop-on Hop-off Tour to $50 for a 48-hour Hop-on Hop-off Tour including a guided walking tour through the downtown area. All tickets include free admission to the National Museum.
The launch of City Sightseeing Beirut marks a new era in Lebanon. The plan is to continue developing, open more operations, and introduce other products in a handful of cities throughout the country, including Jeita, Byblos and the Teleferique.