Airport passengers amounted to 886,661 in the first quarter of 2009, up 16 percent year-on-year, according to the Beirut Hariri International Airport (BHIA).
Arrivals from the UAE accounted for 21 percent of total passengers, followed by those from Saudi Arabia and France (ten percent each). The total number of flights reached 11,485, up 22 percent year-on-year.
Cargo going through the airport amounted to 16,789 metric tons, an increase of 8.5 percent over the same period of last year, of which 274 tons were mail.
The number of tourists increased by almost 54 percent totaling almost 300,000, of which 41 percent were Arabs and 22 percent Europeans.
Tourism spending, as reported by VAT refund operator Global Refund, was dominated by nationals of Saudi Arabia (20 percent), UAE (13 percent), Kuwait (12 percent, and Egypt (eight percent).
More than 80 percent of the spending was done in Beirut. Fashion and clothing accounted for two-third of the spending.