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Lebanon Attracts 17.8% More Tourists in First Nine Months

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Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Lebanon attracted 17.8 percent more tourists in the first nine months of the year compared with the same period in 2009, the Ministry of Economy and Trade said.

Some 1.69 million tourists visited the country in the first three quarters, ahead of predictions, the ministry said in an e-mailed report today.

Beirut’s international airport handled 4.24 million passengers, or about 12 percent more travelers than in the previous year.

Foreign visitors to Lebanon will exceed 2 million this year, up from 1.85 million in 2009, Tourism Minister Fady Abboud said in a May 21 interview. Tourism revenue will rise to $8.5 billion from $7.2 billion over the same period, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Massoud A. Derhally in Beirut, Lebanon at mderhally@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net.

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