Lebanon Businessnews News

Tourism spending
is still growing
Kesrouan becoming a main shopping hub
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The tourism expenditure in the first half of 2015 grew by seven percent, compared to the same period last year, according to Global Blue’s report, issued last Saturday.

The “Insights into Tourist Spending” report stated that Saudis are behind 29 percent of tourist spending. They are followed by Emiratis, who represent 16 percent, and Kuwaitis who stand for 14 percent.

While Beirut is still the main shopping destination, representing 83 percent of spending distribution, Jbeil and Jounieh are fast gaining ground, according to Joe Yacoub, Head of Commercial Lebanon at the company. “Tourist spending in Jounieh grew by 67 percent, compared to last year. In Jbeil, annual spending rose by 225 percent, which is a very remarkable improvement,” he said.

Kesrouan and Jbeil doubled total annual sales, this year. “It is expected that the coming months will be even better in the whole country and particularly in Kesrouan,” he said.

Various middle-end brands that are a big draw, such as Azadea’s Mango and Bershka, Dareen International’s Mothercare, GS, and Bestseller’s Vero Moda have opened in these areas. Several malls are also planned for the area, including Byblos Mall.

“We believe that in the coming three months there will be a remarkable jump in terms of tourist spending, especially due to expats,” Yacoub said.

According to Roger Keirouz, President of the Jounieh Traders Association, “Jounieh has always been a destination as it has all the attraction components needed, like beach resorts, hotels, and pubs, which grew to over 70, and Casino du Liban,” he said. Tourist numbers are higher this year and locals are adding a good vibe to the city, according to Keirouz. “We are very optimistic despite difficulties, but we rely on personal and private initiatives,” he said. However, he said, traffic is impeding access to Jounieh. “We need to activate Jounieh’s touristic port and find a true solution to bottlenecks and to push the city’s activity forward,” he said.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Jul 07, 2015
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