July 26, 2014

USAID and the Ministry of Tourism Launch the Rural Tourism Strategy for Lebanon

The Ministry of Tourism and The Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) Project, funded by the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID), launched the Rural Tourism Strategy for Lebanon for discussion and public review on July 24, 2014. The strategy was developed by DAI and Beyond Beirut in cooperation with Hospitality Services and Lebanon Traveler within the context of a LIVCD project component entitled ‘Cooperation and Common Action in Rural Tourism’ aimed at upgrading and increasing the competitiveness of the rural tourism value chain in Lebanon. Ministry_Tourism_USAid_Rural_Tourism23 The event was held in the presence of H.E. Minister of Tourism Michel Pharaon and was attended by over one hundred stakeholders from the rural tourism sector. Beyond Beirut, a Lebanese association that has promoted rural tourism and the establishment of links between stakeholders from both the private and the public sectors since 2010, presented the process that saw the development of the strategy. In his speech, Minister Pharaon focused on the importance of the sector for the economy of rural Lebanon and stressed on the need to build and develop the great potential it offers. Ministry_Tourism_USAid_Rural_Tourism10 USAID Acting Mission Director Anne Patterson reiterated the support of the United States government to vitalize the rural tourism sector as it provides opportunities for local development, job creation, women and youth empowerment, and increased community cooperation. This strategy is an action plan to be implemented over the next five years to improve the competitiveness of rural tourism in Lebanon. The process of developing this strategy was based on consultations with more than 150 rural tourism actors on national and regional levels. The draft strategy document is available on Beyond Beirut’s website for stakeholders to send their comments by e-mail within one month time for consideration of the final document. Ministry_Tourism_USAid_Rural_Tourism11 Information on Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) With funding from the presidential initiative “Feed the Future,” LIVCD is a five year, $41.7 million United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) project created to improve Lebanon’s economic stability and generate income for small business while creating jobs for the rural population, in particular women and youth. The project provides financial support, facilitates access to markets, introduces new technologies, improves marketing, and creates ties between producers, suppliers, processors, and others to help small businesses network and streamline. As part of the project, LIVCD is working to upgrade and increase the competitiveness of the rural tourism value chain in Lebanon.
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