In the framework of the Lebanese Industry Value Chain Development LIVCD project, the USAID granted The Environment and Sustainable Development Unit ESDU of the American University of Beirut AUB, funds to initiate its project aiming at establishing food trails in the regions of Higher Shouf and West Bekaa.
The project is implemented by ESDU in close collaboration with the Food Heritage Foundation FHF and the Shouf Cedar Biosphere Reserve SCBR, and the established trails will connect ten villages within the Biosphere geographical area.
The goal of the project is to increase touristic competitiveness of Higher Shouf and West Beqaa areas through the development of touristic packages based on agricultural harvesting and food processing, a kind of tourism best known as food tourism. Through the incorporation of tourism to agricultural and food processing activities, the project aims to increase and diversify the income of small farmers, producers, SMEs, local guides, and bed and breakfast operations integrated to the food trail.
To the tourist, food tourism aims to raise awareness about the history and origin of a food product or a traditional dish and its cultural and emotional ties to the destination. Similarly, this kind of tourism puts the visitor in direct contact with the farmer/ producer, who is the storyteller and the beholder of this food culture.