USAID has supported the development and promotion of rural and ecological tourism destinations in Lebanon since 2003.  One result of our support is the Lebanon Mountain Trail (LMT), a 440 kilometer national hiking trail that runs the length of the country and links together three natural reserves – the Afqa Natural Reserve, the Tannourine Natural Reserve and the Shouf Cedars Natural Reserve – and more than 71 villages.

Our impacts in this sector include:

  • Funding of the LMT project which provided training for local guides, established multiple guesthouses, and engaged approximately 50 municipalities and 10 NGOs in trail-side communities who now are invested in ensuring it sustainability as a protected national treasure.  Through the end of 2007, there were more than 10,000 visitors on the trail including about 920 paid overnight visitors in local guesthouses and alternative lodging facilities, which helped strengthen the economy in some of Lebanon’s most rural areas.

For information on other tourism development projects and their impact on economic growth, please click here.