Although total tourist spending in the first half of 2016 plunged by 14% y-o-y, it improved in the second half of 2016. According to Global Blue, tourist spending in 2016 recorded a decelerated plunge of 9% year-on-year thanks to positive developments in the second half of the year.
Spending by Emirati visitors in 2016 grasped 14%, the largest share of total tourist spending, closely followed by Saudi’s 13% when compared to the year ended 2015. Kuwaiti and Egyptian visitors spent 6%, while Syrians, Jordanian, and French expenses stood at 5% each.
Notably, the spending of tourists from Kuwait, the USA, and Qatar particularly increased by 70%, 15%, and 14% respectively in Q4 2016 compared to the same period last year, while expenditures from other countries all remained in the negative territory.
In 2016, Fashion and Clothing alone grasped a 73% share of total spending, as well watches and jewelry constituted 13%. However, the significant drop recorded in all categories by Q3 2016 was buffered in Q4 2016 by an 8% increase for spending on Fashion and Clothing, 21% on Souvenirs and Gifts, and 19% on Home and Garden, while Watches and Jewelry declined by 43% compared to Q42015.
Nationally, 80% of tourist expenditures were concentrated in Beirut, while the Metn, part of Mount Lebanon, clutched 14% of the spending, followed by 3%in Baabda, and 2% in Keserwan. In particular, only the spending in the Metn area recorded a 9% uptick in Q4 while all other areas remained in the negative compared to the same period last year.
Spending Distribution by Category (YTD)
Source: Global Blue Tourist Spending Report