TWO MONTHS from today, Lebanon will move one step closer to the tourism mainstream. On 30 September, British Museum Tours (071-323 8895) launches its pioneering tour to the country, a one-week trip taking in Beirut, Byblos, Baalbek, Sidon and Tyre. 'The hotels are preparing for the return of the tourist in 1995,' says Elizabeth King, who runs the museum's travel offshoot and returned from a research trip last month. 'Many itineraries allocate little time in Lebanon itself before moving off to Syria and Jordan at speed. We think it warrants closer attention.'

The tour price of pounds 998 (single supplement pounds 117) includes all transport and half-board accommodation, plus the services of a lecturer from the museum.