Lebanon’s area is ranked 170th in the world (CIA, 2014). It’s smaller than the size of Connecticut, one of many smallest states in in America. Moreover, Lebanon is one of many few democratic countries in the Middle East region. Regarding its economy, Lebanon is a free market economy and includes a lengthy tradition of laissez-faire economics. Along with its coastal location on the Eastern Mediterranean coast, Lebanon is considered since the central’window’of the Middle East to Europe, North Africa, and the remaining world. As a result of this, its economy has gone through some very prosperous times and was even once called the’Paris’of the Middle East ahead of the nation’s 15 year-long bloody civil war which ended in 1990.
Also, although Lebanon is tiny, it can also be one of the most diverse nations in the world. Christians, Muslims, Druze, and other minority sects are spread all around the small nation and even Lebanon’s political system is founded on sectarian power sharing.
However, this diversity had played a pivotal role in the nation’s problems. This diversity was an essential condition of the country’s sectarian civil war and currently plays an essential role in its political paralysis, although other factors (mainly foreign) are the culprit as well. There is currently no acting President and the country’s rival political parties keep bickering and preventing as opposed to facilitating the country’s development.
Furthermore, Lebanon’s proximity to Israel has made it a foreign policy/proxy battleground for foreign nations, each using Lebanon for its selfish ends.
The sad political realities of the country have significantly hurt the country’s economy. Also, since Lebanon is a service-based economy, this particular sector has taken the greatest hit.
Tourism plays a significant role in the nation’s economy. In line with the Lebanese Ministry of Economy & Trade (MOET), “Tourism has long been one of Lebanon’s leading economic sectors” (Economic Research Unit, 2010).
Furthermore, The World Travel & Tourism Council estimated that the travel & tourism sector in Lebanon contributed over $4 billion dollars in 2013 (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2014).
The travel & tourism sector composed about 10% of the economy in 2012 but that share dropped to 9% in 2013 (ibid, p. 14). This really is because of the political situation in the united kingdom along with several other factors. Moreover, how many tourist arrivals in the united kingdom kept decreasing from 2011 to 2013.
Because the tourism industry has been somewhat floundering in recent years, the area for error becomes tiny for businesses in this industry. smm panel The political & economic situations are squeezing tourist-related (TR) businesses in Lebanon. This means that these businesses are forced to accomplish more to replace with increasing losses (or decreasing profits) and with fewer resources. There is no telling when the political & economic situation in Lebanon will improve especially because the civil war in neighboring Syria shows no signs of abating.
There are lots of ways that Lebanese TR businesses can adapt during this period such as implementing downsizing policies and cutting back on marketing & advertising budgets. When economic recessions and tough times affect businesses, the very first things to get eliminated are often marketing budgets. But especially since TR businesses have to do more marketing to replace with lost businesses, this may possibly not be a good idea.
One solution to this dilemma is always to make the most of Social Media Marketing strategies since they cost little to no resources, great for the present economic situation in Lebanon. Social media marketing allows TR businesses to overcome obstacles of limited budgets and decreased business.
During recent years, the positive effect of social networking on business has been extremely high (Kaplan et al., 2010; Stelzner, 2010; Treem & Leonardi, 2012, p. 143; Baker & Green, 2014).
Moreover, Facebook and Twitter fans of a particular brand are much more likely to recommend and buy from these brands than non-fans (Cruz & Mendelsohn, 2011). But, we don’t need to ensure of social media’s impact on business through research studies. For social networking users, such as over 30% of the entire world, this fact is known. More and more businesses are inserting Social Media marketing tools to their marketing strategies and, sometimes, have even become a built-in part of the overall business strategy.
Naturally, one would expect that Lebanese businesses would quickly adopt Social Media Marketing as an integral role inside their overall marketing strategies but this is not the case. When it comes to the Middle East and especially Lebanon, the region is far behind the West in social networking usage. Not just that, as it pertains to businesses involved in the tourism industry, there is much room for growth. Little investment in technology is keeping tourist businesses away from maximizing marketing opportunities distributed by social media.
The Lebanese tourism industry isn’t benefiting from social networking marketing tactics even though the advantages to do so are apparent. This presents a good problem especially because the economy is going through a very rough time.
Moreover, Lebanese TR businesses and businesses in Lebanon in general are not adopting social networking tools as they should. This presents a huge problem in the waste of resources along with significant missed opportunities as a bigger target audience may be reached via social networking enabling businesses that adopt social networking marketing tools gain a much better chance of success and prosperity.
Intent behind the analysis
The fruits and features of social networking marketing tools might take significant time to come about in Lebanon if we are ignorant of the factors that have generated the prevention of widespread social networking marketing adoption.
Also, provided that no study goes into the issue of effectively implementing a social media marketing campaign in the Lebanese context, many TR businesses may be lost even if they choose to adopt social networking marketing tools.