Gulf tourists returning
to Lebanon

Gulf tourists walk through Beirut

BEIRUT – The number of Gulf tourists visiting Lebanon increased slightly over 90% in June 2014 after a number of the Arab countries lifted official and unofficial travel bans, Lebanon’s state National News Agency reported Tuesday.


Tourism Minister Michel Pharaon voiced hope that the improved tourist numbers in the early summer would serve not as an exception, “but an example for the months to come.”


“This will be accomplished through renewed openness with Gulf countries,” the NNA quoted the minister as saying.


Pharaon also said he hoped tourist number would increase further during the Eid al-Fitr holidays, which mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


In mid-May, Lebanon’s tourism minister told AFP that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries had lifted bans on their citizens traveling to Lebanon, which has been rocked by intermittent street clashes and terror attacks since 2012.

Gulf tourists walk through Beirut's Hamra district. (AFP/Anwar Amro)