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Lavender ecotourism throws lifeline to rural Lebanese villages

As Lebanon experiences a tourism hike this summer, rural villages and attractions hope to draw tourists away from the capital with the help of ecotourism companies. A day spent discovering lavender in the south is one example.
Rashid Hassan teaches visitors how to harvest lavender correctly.

Since Lebanon’s financial crisis began in late 2019, the government has pinned its hopes on tourism and ex-pat support to provide relief for the ailing economy. While the country’s woes are now beyond such a simple fix, this summer’s uptick in tourism offers an opportunity for rural attractions and businesses to earn some much-needed income, which many are eager to take advantage of.

Al-Monitor received a copy of a press release in which the Tourism Ministry estimates 1.2 million visitors will enter Lebanon this season. Tourism Minister Walid Nasser told Al-Monitor at a recent news conference that they expect to generate about $4 billion in revenue. Famed for its natural beauty, culture, cuisine and history, Lebanon has much to offer both tourists and locals alike, but many don’t venture beyond the main cities or their ancestral villages.

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