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Lebanon Tourism Ministry: 2009 Tourist Numbers Best On Record

Laltebanon’s Tourism Ministry released figures this week showing 1,851,081 tourists visited Lebanon in 2009, 39 percent higher than in 2008, and the highest ever recorded number of tourists to this mountainous Arab nation.

The ministry said the 2009 number beat the 1974 record of 1.4 million tourists.  Before Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, Beirut was known as the “Paris of the Middle East”   Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud said that tourism in Lebanon generated an annual income of up to $7 billion, or about 20 percent of gross domestic product.

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