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Tourism

The Tourism sector has long been one of Lebanon’s leading economic sectors, representing a major source of income and employment. The World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) latest report ranked Lebanon 30th worldwide in terms of travel and tourism’s total contribution to GDP, which stood at 22.1% in 2015 (around USD 9.9 billion), exceeding by far the world’s 9.8% average.

 

KEY FACTS AND FIGURES:

 

  • One of the fastest growing sector in Lebanon, with an average of 9% annual growth over the last 3 years. Tourist arrivals reached at 1.51 million in 2015, a 12% increase over 2014 figures.
  • Directly contributes to 8.1% of the country’s GDP and indirectly to around 22.1%.
  • The sector is expected to grow by 5.3% in 2016and an additional 6.8% per annum  between 2016 and 2026  to reach $19.97 billion by end of 2026.
  • One of the largest employer in the country: generating 120,900 direct jobs in 2015 and 326,800 direct and indirect jobs in total (7.9% and 21.3% of total employment respectively).
  • Tourists spending in Lebanon increased by 2% in 2015. Saudi tourists accounted for 15% of total tourist expenditures in 2015, followed by tourists from the UAE and Kuwait with 14% and 6% respectively.

 

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES:

 

  • Leisure attractions: in 2016, Beirut was voted as the Best International City for Food in the world. It also topped the list as one of the best 25 cities in the Word for its unique beaches and resorts, and vibrant nightlife in 2013.
  • A unique landscape: Lebanon is endowed with a unique landscape and a natural heritage and a mild climate that distinguish it from all the neighboring countries. For instance, Jbeil, the second oldest inhabited city of the world was crowned the Arab tourism capital for 2016.
  • Highly skilled and competitive labor force:
  • Many universities (AUB, Lebanese University, USJ, AUST, and La Sagesse University) offer tourism and hospitality management programs that serve the tourism supply chain.
  • Around 24% of total workforce in this sector earn between USD 333 and USD 666/month.
  • Financial Support:
  • The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL): provides investment projects in the Tourism sector (from hotels, to leisure parks, to medical centers) with exemptions from corporate income tax which can run up to 100% for a period of 10 years if certain employment or investment requirements are met.
  • Kafalat: the loan guarantee agency, provides guarantees for loans (up to USD 400,000) granted by commercial banks to SMEs in the tourism sector.
  • Central Bank Support: provides through commercial banks subsidized loans (up to USD 10 million) to finance new projects or expand existing projects in the tourism sector.
  • The Ministry of Tourism: provides projects in rural tourism with financial support through the LIVCD  project funded by USAID in order to improve the competitiveness of this sector in Lebanon.
Tourism Fact Book 2014
Tourism Investment Incentives
Tourism OPERATIONAL LICENSES
Useful Addresses
Get in Touch
Lazarieh Tower, 4th Floor, Emir Bechir Street, Riad El-Solh Beirut, Lebanon, P.O.Box 113-7251
Phone
+961 1 983306 / 7 / 8
Fax
+961 1 983302 /3