The daily Star Lebanon - A leading international tourism agency
said the sector in Lebanon is expected to generate a revenue of $3.4
billion in 2017. “The World Travel & Tourism Council estimated that
the travel & tourism industry would directly contribute $3.4 billion
to the Lebanese economy in 2017, equivalent to about 7.1 percent of
GDP, down from more than 10 percent of GDP in 2010,” the report said. The
WTTC said the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in
2015 was LL5.436 trillion (8.1 percent of GDP) and forecast that the
sector would rise by 4.8 percent in 2016. There
are no official figures on the revenues generated from tourism sector
in 2016 but all experts agree that the hospitality industry did not
perform well due to the decline in the number of tourists.
Tourism was once viewed as one of the main sources of revenue for the Lebanese economy. However,
officials hope that Arab tourists and especially Arab Gulf nationals
will return to Lebanon in great number this summer after the thaw in
relations with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. WTTC also
anticipated that direct industry employment will reach 123,800 persons
in 2017, representing 6.9 percent of total employment. It expected that the tourism sector’s contribution to the Lebanese economy to expand by 2.9 percent in real terms in 2017. “The
decline in the sector’s contribution to economic activity since 2010
cannot be attributed only to domestic and regional political and
security developments. It is part of the decline in the Lebanese
economy’s overall competitiveness, especially the weakening state of the
infrastructure and the deterioration in public service delivery,”
Nassib Ghobril, chief economist at Byblos Bank, said.
that the decline in the sector’s contribution to economic activity since
2010 cannot be attributed only to domestic and regional political and
is part of the decline in the Lebanese economy’s overall
competitiveness, especially the weakening state of the infrastructure
and the deterioration in public service delivery. The tourism sector
needs to regain its regional competitiveness by upgrading the country’s
basic infrastructure, as well as by reducing the cost of visiting
Lebanon,” Ghobril said.
It added that, since the T&T industry
affects all sectors of the economy, its real direct and indirect impact
is more significant.
“As such,the sector is forecast to generate
$9.4bn or 19.5 percent of Lebanon’s overall economic activity in 2017,
and to employ 338,200 persons, or 18.9 percent of total employment,” it
Copyright © 2017, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.