According to Global Blue, tourist spending in Lebanon increased by a yearly 2% in 2015. This improvement is linked to the recovery in the number of tourist arrivals in 2015; According to the Ministry of Tourism, the total number of tourist arrivals amounted to 1.39 million by November, the highest since 2012.
The largest bulk of tourist spending is accounted for by Saudi Arabian visitors with a share of 15% in the total, followed by 14% for the nationals of the United Arab Emirates, 6% for each Kuwait and Egypt tourists and 4% for Syria.
Tourist spending by Saudi Arabian visitors increased by 5% compared to last year while spending by UAE tourists recorded a double-digit growth of 12%. Tourist spending from Jordan, Qatar and the United States rose by a yearly 14%, 21% and 18%, respectively. However, spending from Kuwait, Egypt and Syrian nationals dropped by 16%, 4% and 23%, respectively.
In 2015, fashion and clothing was the category that captured most of the tourist spending with a share of 71% in the total followed by 16% for watches and jewelry. Spending on fashion and clothing edged up by a mere 1% while spending on watches and jewelry grew by 15%.
The capital Beirut is where 81% of tourist expenditures took place while 12% were disbursed in Mount Lebanon. In Beirut, tourist spending rose by 2% while it decreased by 6% in Mount Lebanon.
Evolution of Number of Refund Transactions in 2015
Source: Gobal Blue Tourist Spending Report