(MENAFN) Lebanese authorities entered in talks with economy airlines including Monarch Airlines, easyJet and Ryanair to extend their networks to the country, Arabian Business reported.
Tourism Minister Fady Abboud said that his country seeks to boost the tourism industry, which is a main pillar for the country's economy, after it was hurt by the political turmoil in the Arab world, specially the ongoing political unrest in neighboring Syria.
Abboud said he will present the proposal at the cabinet meeting on July 18 to endorse the plans.
Tourism contributes about USD8 billion per year to Lebanon's economy. Public debt in the country reached USD55 billion at the end of May this year.
Gulf tourists account for about 10 percent of visitors and represent 40 percent of tourism spend, Abboud said.
The number of visitors to Lebanon last year declined by 7 percent from 2010 due to the upheaval in Syria, as many visitors from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Iran travel to the country by road, Abboud added.