Food And Wine Tourism In Post-war Lebanon
Free (open access)
231 - 241
L. N. Milich
Tourism has played a major role in Lebanon since its peak period of 1930-1974; sometimes subsiding as a result of war and conflict, but always rebounding at least to some extent. Lebanon’s touristic appeal includes its geographic location between the East and the West, its varied landscape (beaches and mountains), its hospitable and diverse population, and its well loved cuisine. The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the nature of regional and community based initiatives within the interrelated sectors of food and wine tourism in postwar Lebanon. Data was collected in January 2011 through personal interviews with experts in the field. Findings revealed a need for greater support of the food and wine industry, as it has proven to be a sustainable alternative to traditional touristic development strategies. The researcher found that initiatives such as those referred to in this study are beneficial to the country as a whole and to the strengthening of the traditional tourism sector partly because of the opportunity they provide for diversification. Establishing and promoting a strong network of sustainable minded food and wine initiatives with a similar set of goals and objectives across the country will help spread the benefits of tourism to areas and groups typically not reached by its financial and cultural benefits. This will also lessen the strain on currently marketed, overly concentrated areas and will create for a more sustainable, more multidimensional, more interesting, and less destructible/vulnerable industry on the whole. Keywords: wine tourism, Lebanon, food tourism, culinary tourism, communitybased initiatives. 1 Introduction Prior to a 17-year civil war that broke out in 1975, Lebanon was a prime tourist destination, and was known internationally as the \“Switzerland of the Middle
wine tourism, Lebanon, food tourism, culinary tourism, communitybased initiatives.