The Tourism sector has long been one of Lebanon’s leading economic sectors, representing a major source of income and employment. The World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) latest report ranked Lebanon 36th worldwide in terms of travel and tourism’s total contribution to GDP, which maintained its level at 19.4% in 2016. In 2017, Lebanon still witnessed a rise in the number of passengers arriving to the country.
Indeed, the total number of passengers went up by 6.93% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach 7.61M by November 2017. In details, the number of arrivals to Lebanon rose by 8.62% y-o-y to stand at 3.79M by November 2017.
However, departures witnessed a down tick of 2.92% y-o-y to settle at 3.51M by November this year.
Meanwhile, the number of transit passengers dropped from 13,148 passengers by November 2016 to 4,567 passengers by November 2017. This considerable drop of 65.26% y-o-y can be explained by the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Saudi Arabia creating certain instability in the country. Transit passengers might have chosen another route to travel in order to avoid passing by Lebanon fearing the sudden uncertainty created by the prime’s minister resignation.
Total Number of arriving passengers by November of each year (in millions)
Source: Rafic Hariri International Airport