The crackdown on Lebanon’s beach clubs that employ racist-deemed entrance policies will continue, tourist Minister Fadi Abboud says, reassuring that adhering to the guidelines of the Global Code of Ethics of Tourism is a priority, according to a report by the Daily Star.
It was part of a policy implemented in an effort to combat the negative images about Lebanon.
The crackdown came following a widely circulated video depicting 10 different resorts denying entrance to a migrant domestic worker captured by a local NGO.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Racist Movement also filmed an Ethiopian woman being turned away by the St. George beach club in Beirut. The venue has issued an apology since.
This goes against a statement made by the ministry in April that said, “Equal treatment is to be provided to all customers without discrimination based on race, nationality or disability.” The ministry also confirmed that the violators would face “suitable legal measures.”
In his statement, Abboud said that the country is being depicted as “racist in our dealings with the patrons of swimming pools and tourist establishments and this reflects negatively on Lebanon’s image as a tourist destination internationally and weakens its standing in terms of human rights.”
“The actions of individuals at some tourist establishments should not distort or change Lebanon’s image. The ministry will be “harsh in implementing the objectives of the code,” he said referring to Articles 2 and 8 of the Global Code of Ethics of Tourism which stress on individual rights and equality.
Any venue which fails to comply with the code after being issued a warning will shut down. In addition, the public has been urged to keep the lookout for violations and voice complaints to the ministry hotline.
The subject of racism has become an issue after large flocks of Syrians crossed the borders, fleeing the turbulence, and are now residing in Beirut as well as other cities.
Baalbek-Hermel MP Marwan Fares, and a member of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, said that any discrimination against Syrian refugees is utterly unacceptable as it became a trend to charge Syrian arrivals with inflated prices for accommodations.