According to the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourist arrivals rose by a yearly 12.81% to 649,841 by May. This rise was due to the increase in the number of tourist arrivals from the Arab countries, Europe, and America, which altogether took up 82% of the total number of tourist arrivals in Lebanon.
In details, the number of visitors from Arab countries, representing 35% of the total, increased by a yearly 20.24% to 227,402. The number of Iraqi visitors rose by an annual 23.15% to 104,404, while the number of Egyptians decreased by an annual 1.48% to 32,477 by May 2017.
However, given that the GCC governments lifted the ban about visiting Lebanon, the number of incomers from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait almost doubled to stand at 23,515 and 15,246 by May 2017 compared to 12,446 and 7,884, respectively, by May 2016. Nevertheless, Emirati tourists plunged by 26.39% to 873.
Moreover, European tourists, grasping a share of 32% in total, grew by 10.98% y-o-y to 209,952 by May this year. French tourists saw their number rise by an annual 19.59% to 58,578, and visitors from Germany and Italy also rose in number by 15.96% and 14.83% to 29,426 and 13,369, respectively, by May 2017.
American tourists (constituting 15% of total tourists), also increased by an annual 5.47% to 94,363 by May 2017. This rise was mainly due to the growth in the number of visitors from the US and Canada which rose from 44,827 and 31,820 to 52,964 and 35,571 by May 2017, respectively.
Cumulative Number of Tourists by May
Source: Ministry of Tourism