Trash Crisis and Solid Waste Management in Lebanon Analyzing Hotels’ Commitment and Guests’ Preferences
Lebanon has witnessed in 2015 a severe trash crisis that had serious health and environmental impacts. Trash crisis has recently evolved, and is mostly related to inefficiency in networking, political leadership, and strategic management system and information flow. Trash crisis can be avoided with effective crisis management plan and waste management strategies. The latter is gaining broader attention, especially in the developing countries, with waste management being not well implemented. Until now, no studies have been conducted to measure and evaluate the impacts of the garbage crisis on the Lebanese tourism industry, which is a main income generator sector. Therefore, this research seeks to examine how tourism organizations, especially hotels as main producer of solid waste, are managing their waste to reduce the impacts of the crisis and to understand visitors’ perceptions of solid waste management strategies adopted by hotels. 18 hotels’ managers in Beirut were interviewed and 124 questionnaires were filled by hotels’ guests, who were randomly selected in different areas of the capital. Results revealed that large hotels tend to effectively manage their solid waste which allowed them to overcome the crisis with minimal negative impacts. For the majority of respondents, selecting hotels is not primarily influenced by the implementation of solid waste management strategies. Moreover, results showed that 46% of respondents have hesitated to visit Lebanon during the crisis.