Committee for rural tourism formed. To implement a five-year action plan - Lebanon

Committee for
rural tourism formed
To implement a five-year action plan
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A rural tourism development committee was formed by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT). Its role is to follow up with the implementation of the rural tourism plan announced by MoT two months ago.

The committee will meet quarterly to endorse and review the appropriate measures and steps that should be adopted, while setting the strategy for rural tourism, said Nada Sardouk, Director General of the MoT. “The committee will give general recommendations and counsel, and won’t act as a monitor,” she said.

The committee is presided by the Minister of Tourism and has representatives from the ministries of Interior, Culture, Agriculture, Environment, and Information. It will also include representatives from municipalities, syndicates, civil society, and specialized consultants.

The tourism plan is a joint initiative between the US Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with Hospitality Services, organizer of the Horeca Exhibition. This project is part of the five-year $41.7 million Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) project, brought by USAID. LIVCD is implemented by Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), a Washington-based private development company, and developed by Beyond Beirut, a local non-governmental development organization, in cooperation with the MoT.

The strategy suggests marketing and communication actions to improve the visibility of rural tourism destinations and products and to attract existing and high potential markets. It focuses on the domestic market, expats living abroad, and on the diaspora. It will also work on improving the involvement of local communities and stakeholders in institutionalizing tourism at the local level, and in enforcing policies and regulations to manage tourism activities.

The majority of rural tourism businesses are small scale. When rural tourism is sustainable, locals will work to preserve the value of their assets and become more involved in developing their businesses.
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Date Posted: Sep 23, 2014