Beirut passenger traffic -6.6%

By Doug Newhouse |

The Lebanese Tourism Ministry reports that visitor arrivals at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport have fallen by more than 700,000 to 1.2m in 2013 (-6.6%) since the country’s record year in 2010 where they hit 2m for the first time. The government and its tourism bodies blame the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011. European visitor numbers were still counted at plus 0.5m, but Saudi Arabian tourist numbers have fallen by more than 100,000 since 2010 to just over 40,000 arrivals in 2013.Tourists and investors are clearly avoiding visiting The Lebanon at present – particularly those in the Gulf itself. Last month’s two suicide bombings in Beirut and Hermel in the south have only made matters worse, with groups claiming to be linked to Al-Qaeda claiming responsibility for both incidents.

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