British walking holidays specialist Ramblers Worldwide has added Lebanon to its list of destinations, according to a recent announcement. Ramblers Worldwide have long included Jordan, Morocco, Oman and other Middle East and North African destinations on their itineraries, although some scheduled trips to Egypt and Syria have been disrupted by recent political events in the region. However, according to Marketing Manager Tony Maniscalco, “The Middle East is a popular destination for our clients who like to include culture, history and sightseeing on their walking holiday. Jordan, Egypt and Syria have proved especially popular. The recent turmoil in the area has had an impact on sales to this region and we unfortunately had to cancel 2 departures – Egypt and Syria – due to FCO advice.”
Of the Ramblers’ new planned holidays, Maniscalco says that “Lebanon is a new destination for us and offers a perfect mix of nature and history with some very good walking in outstanding scenery. The wonderful mix of Phoenician ports, cedar forests, vineyards and historical sites makes for a good package.” The list of attractions on the Lebanon hiking tour include Byblos, the Beqaa Valley and Beirut.
The Ramblers Holidays’ announcement is one example of the growth of interest in eco-tourism holidays in Lebanon. As reported in Green Prophet in February, new responsible tourism operators are opening in the country. In January was named one of the Middle East’s top three eco-cities to visit by Green Prophet itself. Last year a new company also launched cycle tours of Beirut. On the other hand, climate change looks set to endanger Lebanon’s ski industry.
However, a recent campaign asking budget airline Easyjet to open an office in Lebanon illustrates some of the ongoing tensions within the idea of eco-tourism, whereby many environmentally low-impact holidays involve taking flights which emit huge amounts of climate-changing gases. As reported recently on Green Prophet, train travel in the Middle East is become increasingly popular with travellers, but Lebanon still lacks significant public transport infrastructure or international train connections.
Read more about eco-tourism in the Middle East on Green Prophet:
New Eco-Park Opens In Jordan
Middle East Destination Tops Ethical Tourism Sales
A Whirlwind Guide to Palestinian Guesthouses