(A storefront in City Mall posts a "Moving Back to Brazil" sale. Photo via Darine Sabbagh on Facebook.)

We have seen, heard and read that tourism in Lebanon has been steadily on the decline due to political and sectarian tensions in the country, as well as the ongoing war in neighboring Syria. And, in an article published on Wednesday, the Christian Science Monitor shows us just how much of a hit the country’s tourism industry has taken.

According to the publication, restaurants and nightclubs have been the hardest hit, with a whopping 50 percent decline in business since the start of 2013. Within Beirut, hotel occupancy rates are down to about 35 percent, while outside the capital rates have dropped to as low as five percent. The report also points out how cities, historical sites and festivals with major visitor appeal have been affected, citing the example of the Baalbeck International Festival, which has had to relocate to Beirut due to security concerns after the town of Baalbeck was struck by rockets.

With such an appalling overall performance, it makes sense that Lebanese-based companies and food chains like BRGR.CO are now branching out to markets abroad, such as in the UK and, soon, New York.

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