1.1 Touristic Overview On Lebanon
The tourism industry in Lebanon
The tourism industry in Lebanon has been historically important to the local economy and remains to this day to be a major source of revenue for Lebanon. Before the Lebanese Civil War, Beirut was widely regarded as "The Paris of the Middle East," often cited as a financial and business hub.
Lebanon's diverse atmosphere and ancient history make it an important destination which is slowly rebuilding itself after continued turmoil. Lebanon offers plenty: from ancient Roman ruins, to well preserved castles, limestone caves, historic Churches and Mosques, beautiful beaches nestled in the Mediterranean Sea, world renown Lebanese cuisine, nonstop nightlife and discothèques, to mountainous ski resorts.
Significant private investment is ...view middle of the document...
Lebanon's tourism industry also relies on the large number of Lebanese living abroad, who return regularly to the country during the summer season.
Statistics and economy
Tourism was once a very important contributor to Lebanon's economy, accounting for almost 20 percent of the GDP in the 2 decades before the start of the civil war. Since the end of the war, the sector has managed to revive somewhat, but tourism has yet to return to its pre-war levels. Tourism in 1999 accounted for 9 percent of the GDP. In 2001, the tourism sector was one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, with the number of tourists visiting Lebanon between 1996 and 2000 growing at the rate of 14 percent annually. In 2003 the tourism industry contributed 6.374 billion U.S. dollars to the Lebanese economy and in 2005 the receipts per capita reached 1,433 U.S. dollars. In 2006 the ministry of Tourism counted 373,037 admissions to the country's main ministry run touristic sites. In 2009, Lebanon hosted about two million tourists, a record number, passing the previous 1974 record of 1.4 million tourists. The number of tourists grew by 39% over the previous year, the largest increase in any country according the World Tourism Organization. Most of the increase is due to heightened political stability and security. Lebanon was also featured by several international media outlets, including the New York Times, CNN, and Paris Match, as a top tourist destination at the beginning of 2009 Lebanon's annual income from tourism reached $7 billion, about 20 percent of gross domestic product, according to the Minister of Tourism.
Year International Tourist Arrivals Market share in the Middle East
1995 450 000
2000 472 000 3.1%
2005 1,140,000 2.9%