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CHAMPION OF THE DAY
Tourism total output
$9.4 billion in 2017
Six percent growth expected this year
The contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was $9.4 billion last year, representing 18 percent of GDP, of which $7 billion were generated from foreign visitors, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The total amount includes direct contributions represented by subsectors such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation, and other indirect contributions from investment and the supply chain.
The direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP last year was $3.3 billion. The sector’s turnover remained stable last year after an eight percent drop in 2016.
WTTC expects travel and tourism’s direct contribution to GDP to grow by 6.2 percent in 2018, reaching $3.5 billion.
Jean Abboud, Chairman of the Syndicate of Travel and Tourism agencies, said: “This summer is promising. The political relations with the Gulf governments indicate that these countries will remove the travel ban and Gulf tourists will come back.” He said that previously, there were communications from Gulf governments to the travel agencies, which banned their citizen’s from booking tickets directly to Lebanon.
Abboud said: “The total results of the previous year were below our expectations. The activity was good in the first nine months, but it deteriorated in the last three months.”
Travel and tourism directly supports 131,500 jobs, accounting for 6.4 percent of total employment. The total contribution (direct and indirect) of travel and tourism supported 365,500 jobs.
The leisure segment generated 92 percent of the direct contribution of travel and tourism last year, compared with eight percent for spending on business travel.
According to the WTTC, travel and tourism attracted capital investment of around $1.4 billion last year.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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May 03, 2018
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