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Tour Companies Return to Lebanon

April 19, 1998

Some cutting-edge tour companies are beginning to add Lebanon to their itineraries following the State Department's decision last year to lift its travel ban there.

Although still haunted by damage and tensions from its devastating 1975-90 civil war, the seaside capital, Beirut, is engaged in a major building boom aimed at restoring its former position as the "Paris of the Middle East."

Boston-based Kutrubes Travel Agency, which sends people to Albania, Northern Ireland and Croatia in addition to its long-standing Greek tours, is booking 11-day Lebanon trips departing Oct. 10 and Nov. 7. Roman temples, ruins in Tyre and even a day in Damascus, Syria, are included; costs start at $1,342 per person, double occupancy, plus air fare. Reservations: (800) 878-8566.

San Francisco-based Geographic Expeditions plans to offer eight-day Lebanon tours next year. In the meantime, the company can work out itineraries on an individual basis, said Sarah Timewell, its Arabian regional director. Information: (800) 777-8183.

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