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Successful skiing season drives Lebanon’s tourism growth

Lebanon’s tourism activity grew by 21 per cent in the January-March period of 2015,

A successful winter skiing season is the main driver of a “remarkable” growth in the number of tourists visiting Lebanon in the first quarter of the current year, a report reveals.

Lebanon’s tourism activity grew by 21 per cent in the January-March period of 2015, indicates a report by the Committee of the World Tourism Organisation for the Middle East.

The report, published by the Daily Star, says that the GCC countries’ decision to lift travel advisories warning people about visiting Lebanon helped push growth in this key sector forward.

The report highlights a number of state-sponsored initiatives to spur growth in the tourism industry and attract more visitors to the country.

The Lebanese Ministry of Tourism had already launched a five-year tourism strategy plan that focuses on rural areas in the country.

Tourism is a major underpinning of the Lebanese economy, but was hit by the turmoil in the region and the political standoff at home.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the direct contribution of the travel and tourism industry to the Lebanese economy in 2015 is projected to reach $3.61 billion.