The latest data by the Ministry of Tourism revealed that the number of tourist arrivals to Lebanon increased by 3.88% year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q3 2018 to settle at 1.51M. However, the rise remains incremental (compared to the growth rate of 11.3% recorded a year before) owing it to the growth of tourist arrivals namely from Europe and America, and to a slump in the number of Arab tourists who are Lebanon’s largest spenders.
In details, the number of visitors from the Arab countries (constituted 27.8% of total arrivals) declined by an annual 5.45% to 419,142 visitors in Q3 2018. In fact, geopolitical tensions arose between Lebanon and the KSA particularly following the Prime Minister Hariri crisis in November 2017. The developments since weighed down on the number of Arab incomers in general, and on Saudis, Emiratis, and Kuwaitis in particular. As such, the number of tourists coming from Saudi Arabia retreated by a yearly 18.06% to 44,369 by Sept. 2018. Similarly, tourists from the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait slumped by 20.98% and 14.35% y-o-y to 1,296 and 29,930 over the same period. In addition, visitors from Iraq slipped by yearly 10.58% to reach 161,228 tourists, respectively, in the third quarter of 2018.
On the counterpart, European tourists (which grasped 35.70% of total tourists) added a yearly 9.52% to 537,846 travelers in Q3 2018. In details, the number of French and German visitors increased by 6.58% y-o-y and 4.18% y-o-y, to 139,620 and 82,876 tourists, respectively. By the same token, British, Turkish, and Italian tourist arrivals added 12.25%, 6.65%, and 6.98% annually, to settle at 60,705 travelers, 23,389 and 27,295 visitors, respectively. Meanwhile, tourists from Sweden slipped by a yearly 4.89% to 30,469 travelers over the same period.
As for American tourists, (19.1% of total tourists), their number increased by 8.68% y-o-y to 287,887 visitors by Sept. 2018 owing it to the 6.88% and 11.32% annual upticks recorded in the number of visitors coming from the USA and Canada, to reach 153,616 and 101,098 visitors, respectively.
Cumulative Number of Arab Tourists in Q3
Source: Ministry of Tourism