Lebanon’s tourism minister, Fadi Abboud said the crucial summer tourism season would not be badly damaged by growing domestic unrest and turmoil in neighbouring Syria.
He expected 1.8 million visitors this year, despite an almost complete absence of overland travellers.
“I am expecting a season similar to last year. Of course we lost more than 300,000 travellers by road because of the unfortunate conditions in Syria. That travel has basically stopped. But air and sea travel are still fine,” said Abboud.
He said tourism revenue increased by 22 percent in the first four months of 2012 from the same period last year in spite of rising violence in Syria, where security forces are trying to crush a 15-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.