According to the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists who visited Lebanon in the first four months of the year increased by a yearly 8% and totaled 428,947.
Arab tourists, representing the third of total tourists, saw their number rise by only 1% year-on-year to 140,307 by April this year. In details, the number of incomers from Iraq, who usually come to Lebanon to escape the tough conditions in their country rather than for tourism, grew by an annual 15% to 60,725 and the number of Egyptian tourists grew by an annual 9% to 25,891 by April 2016.
In late February, the diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia resulted in the issuance of travel bans preventing GCC nationals from going to Lebanon. Therefore, the number of incomers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE all registered annual drops of 39%, 35% and 51% to reach 9,639, 6,078, and 1,075, respectively.
The number of European visitors, also representing the third of total tourists, increased by a yearly 10% to 143,203 by April. French tourists saw their number rise by an annual 8% to 37,594 while UK tourists saw their number grow by 18% to 17,481. Visitors from Germany also rose in number from 16,893 by April 2015 to 18,655 by April 2016.
American tourists, constituting the third largest share of the total (15% of total tourists), also increased by an annual 9% to 63,230 by April 2016. The number of visitors from the US and Canada rose from 28,835 and 20,503 by April 2015 to 31,933 and 22,355 by April 2016, respectively.
In the month of April alone, the number of tourists to Lebanon increased by a yearly 5% from 116,703 in April 2015 to 122,431 in April 2016.
Number of Tourists by April
Source: Ministry of Tourism