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Minister Pharoan launches a strategy to develop rural tourism


The Minister of Tourism, Michel Pharaon, presented last week in Beit Mery a new project which aims to foster collaboration in rural tourism as a precursor to the launch of the strategy of rural tourism which was developed with the Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD), which is funded by USAID, and Beyond Beirut and following consultation with 150 stakeholders in rural tourism.
Pharaon noted that this new initiative should be accompanied by the Ministry of Environment to ensure its success.  He added that the next step will be the creation of a joint national committee for rural development which will include the Minister of Tourism, representatives of civil society organisations, media representatives as well as those who are responsible for promoting this project.  The purpose is to work towards improving rural hostels which are 60 hostels scattered in various areas of the country as well as creating new ones so as to reach a total of 200 hostels. The project will also aim to secure income for the state as well as new employment opportunities.  Pharaon insisted on the important role that municipalities should play in profiling touristic sites in their areas.
Martine Bteich presented for her part the national rural tourism strategy especially in terms of strengthening economic opportunities and improving competitiveness of productive sectors.  She noted that the strategy include a number of axis notably developing rural tourism services, collecting and managing data as well as strengthening local and international linkages.
Source: Al-Diyar, Al-Mustaqbal, Al-Safir 31 July 2014

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