According to the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourist arrivals increased by a marginal 1.02% by May 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. The increase was partly hampered by the elections held in May 2018, which made the number of tourists decrease by a yearly 7.65% in May alone.
In details, European tourists who constituted 35.90% of total tourists have increased by a yearly 12.25% to 235,684 travelers by May 2018. In details, the number of French and German visitors increased by an annual 17.07% and 11.60%, to 62,886 and 30,382 tourists, respectively. As all European tourists registered annual upticks in their numbers, tourists from Sweden and Turkey also saw their numbers rise by 11.50% and 8.84%, respectively.
In addition, the number of visitors from Arab countries, representing 30.14% of the total, decreased by an annual 13% to 197,829 visitors. In fact, the shocking resignation of Prime Minister Hariri in November 2017 has partially influenced the decline in the number of Arab incomers in general, and Saudis in particular. In details, the number of tourists coming from Saudi Arabia registered a downtick of 30.73% by May 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 to reach 16,874 tourists. Visitors from the United Arab Emirates and Iraq also slipped by a yearly 39.26% and 18.69%, respectively, and reached 512 and 82,761 tourists respectively by May 2018.
As for American tourists, who composed 15.60% of total tourist arrivals, their number also rose by an annual 8.56% to 102,445 visitors by May 2018.This rise is mainly attributed to the yearly growth recorded in the number of visitors from Brazil, which increased by 27.53% to reach 7,920 visitors by May 2018. It’s worthy to note that the number of tourists coming from Brazil increased by 72.8% from March 2018 to May 2018, which could be due to both Easter vacation and the occurrence of the Lebanese elections (knowing that a considerable portion of Lebanese immigrants resides in Brazil). Similarly, the number of visitors from the US and Canada increased by 8.52% and 5.23% respectively by May 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.
Cumulative Number of Tourist Arrivals
Source: Ministry of Tourism