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| 12 August, 2017

Saudi tourists return to Lebanon in droves: report

12 August 2017

BEIRUT: The number of Saudi tourists to Lebanon increased by 86.77 percent in the first 7 months of 2017 compared to the same period last year, according to statistics from the Tourism Ministry. “The number of Saudi tourists till the end of July 2017 reached 38,698, equivalent to an increase by 86.77 percent compared to the same period last year,” according to a report from the Central News Agency that quoted the Tourism Ministry.

The report said Kuwaiti tourists, on the other hand, rose to 18,809 in the first half of 2017, equivalent to an increase of 87 percent compared to the same period last year.

It also noted that Iraqis topped the list of tourists to Lebanon during July 2017 with 21,194 tourists, followed by Jordanians (10,782), Saudis (8,980) and Egyptians (8,607).

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It added that Arabs constituted 27.12 percent of total arrivals to Lebanon in July 2017, numbering 62,205, while Europeans made up 38.3 percent of total tourists. “As for Americans, they constituted 21.77 percent of tourists while Lebanese arrivals to the airport during July 2017 reached 225,335,” it said. “Syrian arrivals reached 48,523 during that month,” it added.

Tony Ramy, head of the Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Nightclubs and Patisseries, said that tourists arrivals from Gulf Cooperation Council countries during Eid al-Fitr was remarkable but then it started retreating again. He added that spending by Lebanese expats coming from the Gulf has also declined due to the economic slowdown prevailing in that region, which has affected the income of Lebanese working there.

© Copyright The Daily Star 2017.