A pedestrian walks past the closed Hotel Le Bristol in Beirut, Lebanon, on April 20, 2020. The hotel, which was established in 1951, has been closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Bilal Jawich/Xinhua)
BEIRUT, April 20 (Xinhua) -- A renowned hotel in Lebanon's capital Beirut shut its doors after 69 years of operation amid the current health and economic crisis in the country, a Lebanese tourist official said Monday.
Jean Beyrouthy, head of the Federation of Touristic Syndicates, told Xinhua that Le Bristol hotel's owners on Saturday shut down the hotel for good because they are not expecting tourism would pick up soon.
"When the COVID-19 pandemic finish, people need time to be encouraged to travel again," Beyrouthy said.
Beyrouthy noted that more hotels are expected to close amid COVID-19 outbreak while adding that around 160,000 employees in the sector will be affected.
"I believe that we already have 100,000 employees not being paid for the time being," he said.
Pierre Ashkar, president of the Syndicate of Hotel Owners in Lebanon, said Le Bristol kept on incurring losses due to the consecutive events taking place in the country including clashes in Tripoli, war in neighboring Syria, political bickering in Lebanon and finally the outbreak of COVID-19.
The hotel was designed by French interior designer Jean Royere, and was opened in 1951.
The hotel once boasted the oldest ballroom in Beirut and has attracted guests including some of the most prominent politicians and artists from all over the world.