According to Global Blue’s Q1 2019 “Globe Shopper Spending” report for Lebanon, total tourist spending grew by 12.18% year-on-year (YOY) and the number of total refund transactions grew by 5.8% YOY.
In Q1 2019, the biggest bulk of spending (44%) took place during the month of January when most tourists are extending their Christmas holidays to ring in the New Year. 27% of spending took place in February while 29% was carried out in March.
83% of shoppers’ spending took place in Beirut while 12% and 2% took place in the Metn and Baabda regions. Tourist spending in Beirut grew by 16.9% YOY while that in Metn slid by 0.05% and that in Baabda dwindled by 17.69%.
In Q1 2019, the composition of spenders in Lebanon remained the same with Saudi tourists occupying first place with 15% of total spending followed by 10% for the UAE, 9% for Kuwait, 8% for Qatar and 7% for Syria.
Data from the Ministry of Tourism showed a recovery in the number of Saudi tourists after the lifting of the travel ban; the number of Saudi tourists grew to 10,041 tourists by February 2019 up from 6,009 recorded during the same period last year.
The spending of Saudi Arabian tourists grew by 45.06% in the first quarter of the year, while the spending of Kuwaiti and Qatari shoppers rose by 66.98% and 83.92%. Meanwhile, the spending of shoppers from the UAE and Syria slid by 0.61% and 12.07%, respectively.
In Q1 2019, 67% of shoppers’ spending was concentrated on Fashion & Clothing while 19% were spent on Watches & Jewelry.
Fashion & Clothing spending grew by 15.31% YOY and Watches & Jewelry spending grew by 13.47%.
Tourist Spending by Town
|Town||Share in Spending – Q1 2019||YOY Evolution Q1 2019|
|Beirut Central District||54%||14.29%|
|Nahr el Mot, Zalka, Jal el Dib, Antelias||6%||4.51%|
|Mina el Hosn||4%||17.64%|
|Sin el Fil||1%||-18.95%|
|Kaslik, Jounieh, Maameltein||1%||-24.38%|
Source: Global Blue