Official statistics show that 741,648 persons had entered Lebanon in 2000 compared to 673,261 persons in 1999. These figures exclude Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese expatriates.
The distribution of tourists by origin indicate that Arab countries came in first place with 41 percent of aggregate visitors, followed by Europe (31 percent), the Americas (12 percent), Asia (10 percent), Oceania (4 percent), and Africa (2 percent).
According to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily, the Lebanese ministry of tourism will soon prepare a new plan for restoring the local tourism sector.
This sector presently contributes five percent of the country's GDP, compared to 22 percent before the civil war, which lasted between 1975 and 1990.
Before the war, some 1.25 million tourists used to visit Lebanon annually. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )