According to the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists visiting Lebanon, in the first eight months of 2014, has displayed a 0.68% year-on-year (y-o-y) improvement, bringing the total number up from 891,079 tourists to 897,106.
This increase is heavily influenced by the number of Iraqi incomers, which surged by 19.57%, to 109,649. After removing this figure, the total number of tourists declines by 1.49% y-o-y to 787,457. When compared to the 9.13% y-o-y decrease by May 2014, this figure represents a marked improvement for the tourism sector.
European tourists, representing 34.24% of all tourists, revealed a 1.62% y-o-y decrease to 307,142 by August. This can be attributed mainly to the French and Turkish Tourists which fell by 1.89% and 48.11% respectively. On the other hand, incomers from Germany, Sweden and Italy augmented by a respective 8.17%, 18.31% and 9.53%.
In contrast, Arab tourists, accounting for 31.90% of the total, inched up by 4.99%, compared to last year, to reach 286,217 in the first eight months of 2014. Egyptian tourists rose by 5.18% y-o-y. Meanwhile, the number of Jordanian visitors fell by 11.03%.
As for the number of American travelers, it rose by 5.45% y-o-y to 158,156 tourists.
In August alone, tourism reflected a healthy 9.73% increase compared to the same period in 2013.
Number of Tourists by August
Source: Ministry of Tourism