Lebanon received approximately 850,000 tourists in 2001, a 20 percent increase in visitors compared to 2000. Lebanon’s Ministry of Tourism announced that the majority of last year’s tourists were of Arab or European origin and spent over two billion dollars in the country, reported the official Xinhua news agency.
"In last November and December, we saw a surge of tourists and we expect this to continue," stated Lebanese Tourism Minister Karam Karam. Karam attributed the influx of tourists to a change in the international travel industry after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The Minister added that the only factor that could discourage travelers from visiting Lebanon is the newly implemented 10 percent value-added tax (VAT).
Lebanon’s tourism sector contributed to five percent of the country's GDP in 2000, compared to 22 percent before the civil war, which lasted between 1975 and 1990. Before the war, some 1.25 million tourists would visit Lebanon annually. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )