Rethinking tourism and its promotion in Lebanon

On 2 June, the Union of Municipalities of Jezzine (UMJ) launched its Tourism Territorial Branding programme, developed in the framework of the Strategic Plan of the Union with USAID funding.

The programme "Explore, Escape, Experience" has as its objectives the identification of interesting spots at the 45 villages in the region, the regeneration of some of them to improve them as tourist destinations, the organisation of leisure activities for 2018 and the launching of a full-fledged communication campaign, which includes the website www.jezzinetourism.com. Overall the programme intends to boost economic development through new entrepreneurial ventures and to reinforce the sense of belonging of residents in order to encourage them to stay in the region. The programme, launched under the patronage and in the presence of the Minister of Tourism, identifies a series of priority projects for implementation.

Taking the opportunity to capitalise this experience and take it further, MedCities and the member municipalities of Jezzine, Batroun and Zgharta-Ehden are this autumn launching a project for the promotion of ecotourism in the three regions. The initiative aims to foster the development of Territorial Branding strategies for Batroun and Zgharta-Ehden, building on the experience of Jezzine, and to implement pilot projects for ecotourism development in all three cities, inspired by the transfer of experiences and practices from other city members of MedCities. This project, co-founded by the Barcelona City Council, will, over the course of 18 months, support networking efforts to foster strategic local economic development.