U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Richard H. Jones attended the launch of the “Travel Lebanon” exhibition at the Beirut Hippodrome, organized by Hospitality Services with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism. The theme of this year’s third annual Travel Lebanon exhibition is “Promoting Internal Tourism in Lebanon” and aims to showcase Lebanon’s hidden gems and cultural heritage. During the five-day event running from May 24-28, 60 exhibitors will represent their regions, municipalities, guesthouses, and outdoor activities to over 25,000 visitors.
During his remarks at the opening ceremony, Ambassador Jones stressed that “today’s event demonstrates our continuous partnership with Lebanon to build economic resilience and promote growth by ensuring that communities throughout the country reap the benefits of tourism.” Minister of Tourism Michel Pharaon also attended the opening ceremony and toured exhibitor booths with Ambassador Jones.
Since 2003, USAID has worked to harness the economic growth potential of Lebanese tourism by supporting the development of rural tourism destinations and ecotourism activities such as mountain hiking trails, guesthouses, heritage food events, and cross-country skiing in Lebanon. The USAID-funded Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) project, which funded the Travel Lebanon exhibition, seeks to complement these efforts by developing businesses, products, and sites that generate income for small businesses, particularly through creating jobs and expanding economic opportunities in rural areas for women and youth.