According to Global Blue, tourist spending in Lebanon rose by a yearly 5.5% by December 2017, compared to end 2016. The rise is mainly attributed to increasing tourist spending by Syrians, Kuwaitis, and Saudis. Similarly, the occurrence of the New Year and Christmas holidays during the last quarter of the year encouraged the spending habits of visitors for the period.
On a year-to-date basis, tourist spending by Syrian, Kuwaiti, and Saudi visitors particularly grew, recording annual upticks of 32.07 %, 28.46%, and 15.37%, respectively, by December 2017. Similarly, spending by American and Qatari tourists in 2017 increased respectively by 10.59% and 7.18% compared to last year. Meanwhile, tourist spending by Egyptian and Emirati tourists was slashed by 18.5% and 9%, respectively.
During 2017, Fashion and clothing accounted for 69% of the spending distribution by category, followed by 16% for Watches and jewelry. In details, spending on Fashion and clothing, Watches and jewelry, and Department stores witnessed respective yearly rises of 3.9%, 5.5%, and 19.5%.
Locally, 80% of tourist expenditures were concentrated in the capital Beirut, while 14% were spent in Metn (Mount Lebanon). In details, tourist spending in Beirut increased by 6.1%, while it rose by a marginal 1.3% in Metn.
Furthermore, Beirut Central District alone captured 54% of total tourist spending in Beirut, up by 5.3% from last year’s share. Meanwhile, Ashrafieh and Verdun seized 12% and 6% of visitors’ spending in 2017, up by yearly 1.2% and 19.4%, respectively compared to 2016. The noticeable increase in tourist spending in Verdun is mostly attributed to the opening of ABC Verdun during the summer season. As for the towns of Jal El Dib and Dbayeh, they captured 5% of total tourist spending each, by the end of 2017.
Lebanon’s Top Incomers: Yearly Spending Evolution in 2017 by Nationality
Source: Gobal Blue Tourist Spending Report