Dubai: The UAE accounted for 15 per cent of Lebanon’s tourism receipts in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a statement by Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market, quoting a report by Global Blue.
Travellers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Kuwait and Jordan followed, with 12 per cent, 8 per cent, 7 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively, Global Blue data showed.
Internationally, France accounted for 5 per cent of total tourist expenditure, followed by the US (3 per cent) and Nigeria (2 per cent).
“Beirut is a haven for travellers seeking retail therapy, but shopping is just one of the many diverse attractions the destination has to offer,” Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director of Reed Travel Exhibitions, said in a statement.
Total spending by tourists in Lebanon was up 4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same time in 2012, with Beirut accounting for 81 per cent of total spending, according to Global Blue data.
The UAE government had previously advised citizens against travelling to Lebanon due to nearby conflict in Syria.
The travel and tourism industry contributed 6,325.5 billion Lebanese pounds to Lebanon’s GDP in 2013, according to the statement, quoting World Travel and Tourism Council data. The contribution of travel and tourism to Lebanon’s GDP is expected to grow by 5.8 per cent a year to 11,112.9 billion pounds by 2023, the statement added.