The tourism sector in Lebanon looks very different two years after severely affected by shutdowns, travel restrictions and the social unrest erupted since end of 2019. Fortunately, numbers shows that recovery has started albeit levels are not the same as before 2020. The first half of 2022 witnessed substantial developments as reflected earlier in our post this week, with the number of airport passengers in 2022 marking a remarkable increase by 77.88% by June 2022.
On the tourist front, the data from the Ministry of Tourism showed that the number of incoming visitors witnessed an annual increase of 95.75% reaching 570,738 visitors by June 2022, compared to only 291,570 by June 202, and 199,722 in the first half of 2020.
The breakdown of statistics reveals that the number of tourists from the top 3 destinations recorded considerable upticks. In detail, Europeans grasped the lion’s share or 38.07% of total tourists. Travelers from the Arab countries came in second, grasping a share of 28.08% of the total while tourists from the Americas constituted 21.20% of total tourists.
In more details, the number of European tourists rose by 87.05% year-on-year (YOY) to 217,275 by June 2022 followed by those from Arab countries with a 94.78% increase to reach 160,280 visitors by June 2022. Visitors from America came third and added a yearly 96.35% to stand at 120,993 American visitors by June 2022.
Generally, the tourism sector in Lebanon used to assume a well-defined position in the region. Though, moderate improvements in tourist arrivals were to be seen but it remained limited compared to peers due to the political instability. For instance, according to the world economic forum travel and tourism development index 2021 which measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector in a country, Lebanon index scored 3.4 losing 7 places to be ranked 94 among 117 countries surveyed.
Total Number of Tourists and Annual Growth Rate by June:
Source: Ministry of Tourism