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National guide to environmental and rural tourism in support of sustainable livelihoods of local communities


Eco Lebanon, a tourism guide which supports environmental and rural tourism in Lebanon, was launched last week at the Horeca exhibition in Biel.  The national guide which was released with financial support from the Ministry of Tourism, and is an initiative of the vice president of the syndicate of tourist guides, Dr. Nour Farra Haddad, is considered to be the most rich and comprehensive guide on the subject of rural, natural and ecotourism, in Lebanon.  Haddad noted that the guide is important because it aims to support sustainable livelihoods of local communities, and because it is a user friendly resource consisting of 6 different color-coded sections. The green section deals with mountain climbing, speleology and biking, the blue section with rivers and lakes and their related sports, while the white section is dedicated to ski sports. The burgundy section provides information on various villages and their special characteristics including information about the location of olive presses, handicrafts, glass blowing, pottery and other tradition crafts.  The orange section is dedicated to natural resorts and trips whilst the yellow one includes online sites and information about NGOs active in this sector.
The guide also provides information about seasonal festivals, harvest dates and food specialties of certain villages, and include a listing of selected restaurants and their menus.  Haddad noted that no fees were taken from any of the sites featured in the guides and that the Ministry of Tourism covered all the publication expenses.  The guide is now available in English, will be translated into French and Arabic and will also be available as an APP for smart phones.
Source: Al-Safir 4 April 2014

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