Fadi Abboud, Lebanese minister of tourism Fadi Abboud, Lebanese minister of tourism

 

The number of tourists to Lebanon has slumped significantly due to escalating unrest in neighbouring Syria, the country's tourism minister has said. 

 

During a Dubai visit on June 19 aimed at calming fears of unrest in Lebanon - which resulted in an advisory notice warning UAE citizens against travelling to Lebanon - Fadi Abboud said the major concern for Lebanon was that tourists who normally entered the country via road from Syria were cancelling planned breaks.

There has been a large drop in the number of domestic visitors from within the GCC visiting the country, according to Abboud.

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He said that due to unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, Lebanon “should be benefitting”, however, “Syria is a problem which is affecting Lebanon negatively.”

“Usually, we receive around 350,000 tourists by road, and at this moment in time, it’s around 5% of this number coming through Syria, which is our only boarder with the rest of the world," he added.

Abboud said that normally 160,000 Jordanians would enter Lebanon via road through Syria each year, but this figure is “now only a few thousand”.