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Rural tourism in Lebanon: what does the market reveal?


  • Socrat Ghadban

    (Lebanese university- Faculty of tourism and hospitality management)

  • Maya Shames

    (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN))

  • Jad Abou Arrage

    (Lebanese university- Faculty of tourism and hospitality management)

  • Amal Abou Fayyad

    (Lebanese university- Faculty of tourism and hospitality management)


The concept of rural tourism encompasses many forms of tourism, such as nature-based tourism, community-based tourism, ecotourism, agro-tourism, and many more. Scholars consider tourism an important tool for revenue generation for communities living in rural areas. However, ineffective planning and management of the tourism industry may lead to undesired results in rural destinations, sometimes negatively affecting their rich natural and cultural heritage. In Lebanon, the last decade witnessed an increase of the rural tourism share within the tourism industry. Until today, there are no scientific studies of the supply and demand for this sector in Lebanon. This survey aims to analyze the demand for rural tourism among the domestic market hoping to provide information for actors in the field. The data showcase evidences about the needs, preferences and expectations of potential urban travelers, and factors affecting them. Data collection was completed in May 2014 with a sample of 436 persons, mostly Lebanese urban inhabitants, during the Travel Lebanon exhibition dedicated to promote rural tourism in Lebanon. The statistical analysis revealed important information about the perception and behavior of potential visitors. Personal characteristics, especially respondents’ personal income and cultural background, have been identified as major factors that affect their decision-making process regarding tourism services and facilities. Results also revealed a lack of awareness by the surveyed respondents about critical sustainable tourism issues in rural areas, and a visitor perception that is somewhat different from what is actually being provided by tourism stakeholders in rural areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Socrat Ghadban & Maya Shames & Jad Abou Arrage & Amal Abou Fayyad, 2017. "Rural tourism in Lebanon: what does the market reveal?," CEPN Working Papers 2017-19, Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord.
  • Handle: RePEc:upn:wpaper:2017-19

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hanna El Maalouf & Socrat Ghadban & Maya Shames, 2015. "Nightlife Tourism: A Blessing or a Curse for Host Communities? “A Case Study on Gemmayzeh, Lebanon” [Tourisme de vie nocturne, une bénédiction ou une malédiction pour les communautés locales ? « Un," Post-Print hal-01335594, HAL.
    2. Chaminuka, P. & Groeneveld, R.A. & Selomane, A.O. & van Ierland, E.C., 2012. "Tourist preferences for ecotourism in rural communities adjacent to Kruger National Park: A choice experiment approach," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 168-176.
    3. Mutinda, Rayviscic & Mayaka, Melphon, 2012. "Application of destination choice model: Factors influencing domestic tourists destination choice among residents of Nairobi, Kenya," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1593-1597.
    4. Nieto, Jannine & Hernández-Maestro, Rosa M. & Muñoz-Gallego, Pablo A., 2014. "Marketing decisions, customer reviews, and business performance: The use of the Toprural website by Spanish rural lodging establishments," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 115-123.
    5. Girish Nanda & Keith Hargreaves, 2013. "Restructuring of post-crisis GPNs: tourism in Indonesia," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series ctg-2013-37, GDI, The University of Manchester.
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    Cited by:

    1. Socrat Ghadban & Maya Shames & Haifa Abou Mayaleh, 2017. "Trash Crisis and Solid Waste Management in Lebanon-Analyzing Hotels’ Commitment and Guests’ Preferences," Post-Print hal-01611253, HAL.
    2. Andra Poruțiu & Olivia Paula Tirpe & Camelia Oroian & Valentin C. Mihai & Gabriela O. Chiciudean & Daniel I. Chiciudean & Crina Poruțiu, 2021. "Analysis on Tourists’ Preferences for Rural Tourism Destinations in Romania," Societies, MDPI, vol. 11(3), pages 1-12, August.
    3. Zirui Zhan & Jeremy Cenci & Jiazhen Zhang, 2022. "Frontier of Rural Revitalization in China: A Spatial Analysis of National Rural Tourist Towns," Land, MDPI, vol. 11(6), pages 1-21, May.
    4. Mihail Ovidiu Tănase & Puiu Nistoreanu & Răzvan Dina & Bogdan Georgescu & Virgil Nicula & Cosmin Nicolae Mirea, 2023. "Generation Z Romanian Students’ Relation with Rural Tourism—An Exploratory Study," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(10), pages 1-21, May.
    5. Puwei Zhang & Li Wu & Rui Li, 2023. "Development Drivers of Rural Summer Health Tourism for the Urban Elderly: A Demand- and Supply-Based Framework," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(13), pages 1-27, July.

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    More about this item


    Rural tourism; domestic tourism; demand analysis; motivations and preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z3 - Other Special Topics - - Tourism Economics

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