Lebanon’s 1st ‘Visitor Experience’ program results revealed

Lebanon’s 1st ‘Visitor Experience’ program results revealed

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Lebanese Tourism Minister Avedis Guidanian held a press conference today to highlight the country’s latest facts and figures related to this year’s tourism season, as well as the results of the ‘Visitor Experience’ (VX Kiosk) kiosk program recently-introduced at Rafic Hariri International Airport. During the event, Minister Guidanian remarked that despite the fact that the tourism sector experienced 7% growth, much more still needs to be done to ensure positive results.

Some of the interesting numbers revealed, courtesy of GWR Consulting, were based on data collected throughout the month of August based on the feedback provided by roughly 4,200 visitors a fourth of whom were Lebanese:

Accordingly, 73% of visitors stated that they would consider returning. Over 60% of those were visiting family and friends, +30% came for leisure and tourism, close to 10% for business in addition to almost 5% who visited for medical and religious purposes.

In relation to what reason was behind their visit, Tourism topped the list at 13%, Lebanese Hospitality (12%), Food Variety and Cuisine (10%), Events, Festivals and Nightlife (8%), Healthcare Standards (8%), Weather and Nature (7%), and Shopping Experience (6%).

Based on Length of Stay, the majority 33% spent 3 weeks in the country. 29% spent 1-2 weeks, 21% spent 1 week and 17% spent 2-3 weeks. Breaking down the figures, 46% of Lebanese visitors spent an average of 3 weeks, as did North American guests. The latter demographic also constituted the longest stay (2-3 weeks) compared with all other foreign visitors. West Europeans (34%) spent 1-2 weeks in Lebanon while 39% of Arabs spent the least amount of time (1 week) as opposed to all others.

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As for the visitors’ dining experiences, the data showed that +80% opted to enjoy Lebanese food, almost 30% tried Street Food, 18% treated themselves to fine dining experiences, the same number enjoyed causal Western food while 10% had Japanese. Another interesting fact is that while over 70% of visitors described their culinary experience as a Happy one, 15% Very Dissatisfied.

Pertaining to Accommodation, 45% stayed at the residence of Family/Friends, 40% at a hotel, 13% booked lodging after arriving, 8% took shelter in Guest Houses with 7% renting an Airbnb.

Another interesting aspect covered was the Preferred Mode of Transportation. 38% used their own car, that of a family member or friend. 27% rented, 23% used street taxis, 22% ordered a private taxi while 18% got around using Uber or Careem. Surprisingly though, 36% very Unhappy with the Transportation experience as opposed to 43% Happy riders.

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