Sunday in Byblos " June 9, 2002… under a burning sun, in a suffocating
heat, some thousand people were wandering the streets and site of Byblos to
launch the project of the Center for touristic hosting.
Thanks to APSAD in Keserouan-Jbeil and in collaboration with the municipality
of Jbeil-Byblos and in particular thanks to the initiatives of the mayor, attorney
Raphael Sfeir, the first project to finance the center was launched.
The funds gathered from this last event would allow the start of the buildings
in which the center will be located around UNESCO square.
This center is a polyvalent touristic center for information, promotion,
commercialization, and tourist preservation of Lebanon. It aims at
being an actor in the development of local tourism and a development
agent representing local, regional and national institutions. The tasks
of the center consist of hosting, informing, animating, coordinating, and commercializing
different types of touristic services and products. Hence the consumer will
be able to easily access services he would have been unaware of had it not been
for this mediation. The scope of this center covers three regions: the Keserouan
region, the Jbeil region and the Batroun region.
This wide region presents varied potential: let us mention a concentration
of archeological riches (the Roman temples of Faqra, the Nahr el Kalb stele
and bridge, the Byblos site, the Afka Temples, Machnaka…) a concentration
of natural riches (the Jiita grotto, the Fagra natural bridge, the fish fossils
of Hagel-Hjoula…), a vide range of open air activities: pedestrian hiking
tracks, ski stations (Faraya, Laqlouq), biking, caving , climbing, paragliding,
swimming, diving…, local crafts (the sculptor village of Rachana, the
Amchit basketry, the Asiya pottery …), a concentration of praying and
pilgrimage sites (Harissa, Annaya, Kfifane, Mayfouk, Hardine…) and finally
quite lively day and night lives (restaurants, cafés, shopping centers,
Casino du Liban, festivals, concerts…).
The Jbeil-Byblos city is the ideal place to host this center given that geographically,
Byblos is located at the center of a perimeter of action of the three regions
of Kesrouan, Jbeil and Batroun. Furthermore, Jbeil-Byblos is the second most
visited archeological site in Lebanon and the most visited site in that area.
Each of the following partners has contributed to this center: APSAD (The
Association for the protection of Sites and Ancient Residences in Lebanon),
The Association of the Byblos International festival, the Med'Act program, The
General Directorate of Antiquities (DGA), the Ministry of Tourism, the Technical
Office of Lebanese Cities and the Municipality of Byblos.
are also counting a lot on the municipalities and the service providers in the
region to collaborate with us.
This center is targeting, on the one hand, the wider public (Lebanese residents,
Lebanese emigrants, residents of Arab countries, expatriates, tourists) and,
on the other, professionals (providers of touristic services: travel agencies,
restaurants, cafés, hotels, attraction parks… handicrafts, event
organizers: concerts, festivals, fairs, conferences…, schools, universities
and institutions, as well municipalities of the region).
The center offers the wider public the advice of a qualified staff regarding
all sorts of information about the region, a direct reservation of provided
services, touristic products or cultural events. Also various activities and
animation services are provided by the center (conferences, outings, week-ends,
pedagogical animation, concerts…).
On the other hand the center will offer professional clients the possibility
to consult with qualified personnel regarding touristic strategies or development
policy, as well as direct reservation of services, touristic products or cultural
events and finally the chance to promote their services via the center.
Hence, the establishment of the center is a development project aiming at shedding
the light on and exploiting in a non aggressive manner local resources and heritage
in a perspective of sustainable development. Naturally, the project shall be
established in a perspective of profitable and modern management within the
comprehensive local and international economic context thus contributing in
boosting the Lebanese tourism in general and that of Jbeil-Byblos in particular.
The Association for the protection of Sites and Ancient residences in Lebanon
Established in 1960 by Mrs. Yvonne Sursock-Cochrane and a group of people
concerned by the protection of the cultural and natural heritage, the Association
is renowned for its public utility. After a slowing down of its activities due
to the war, the Association resumed its action in 1995. The Association has
helped us enormously in the restoration of the quarters by taking over the financing
and execution of the work.
Byblos International Festival
The Byblos International festival is a non-profit organization founded in
1998 and whose committee was updated in 1999. The present committee was elected
in 2005 and it was this particular committee that was at the base of the creation
and management, the organization and equipping of the center for touristic hosting
and information of Jbeil-Byblos. Thanks to this Association, the center became
operational. The committee is contributing to the development of tourism and
the dissemination of culture through the International Festival.
The Euro-Mediterranean program MED'ACT financed by the European Community
and piloted by the City of Bordeaux motivates the cities of Tunis, Venice, Jbeil-Byblos
and Bordeaux to collaborate in the interest of the inter cultural Euro - Mediterranean
dialogue. Being a factor of sustainable development of cities, the cultural
cooperation launched by these 4 partners pushes each of the cites to work with
the 3 others on a local structuring or event project allowing the creation of
all sorts of exchange based on a common cultural reflection and action.
The Ministry of tourism:
It is the only official body of tourism. It is in charge of promoting tourism,
hosting the direct or indirect execution of touristic projects, regulation,
coordinating and controlling touristic professions as well as private associations
and organisms working in the field of tourism and the exploitation of archeological
and historical sites and museums. We have established a tight cooperation with
the Ministry for the elaboration of this project. While elaborating it, we took
into consideration the existence of a tourism office in Jbeil under the direction
of the Ministry of Tourism. We are not looking to compete with this office,
our project aims at working at complementing and collaborating with the existing
The General Directorate of Antiquities:
The General Directorate of Antiquities is a governmental organism in charge
of preserving and managing the Lebanese national heritage at the historical
and archeological levels. This organism is part of the Ministry of Culture and
acts through three services:
- The service of historical and archeological monuments
- The service of archeological excavations
- The service of museums
The General Directorate of Antiquities has put the quarters of the medieval
souk at our disposal.
The technical office of Lebanese cities
The Network of Historical and Archeological Cities was created in a workshop
held in Lebanon in June 2001 gathering a large number of representatives from
historical cities from three countries: Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. This network
comprises of 17 cities. The Lebanese members are : Jbeil-Byblos, Beirut, Baalbeck,
Tripoli, Sidon, and Tyr. The Network of Historical and Archeological Cities
has established a plan of action consisting of creating in each member city
an office for touristic development in view of determining a cultural heritage
policy. At the international level, this network benefits from the support of
the city of Aix en Provence which has already taken upon itself the training
of human resources responsible for the management of these offices in the concerned
The Municipality of Byblos :
The president of the municipality,attorney Raphael Sfeir, elected in 2000
for a 4 year mandate, participated in the international activities and was elected
vice president of Med'Act program.
The Municipalities of the region :
We weave tight collaboration relations with the municipalities taking into
consideration their needs and visions regarding the touristic development of
The service providers in the region:
We try as much as possible to gather partners from the tourist trade in the
region in order to establish, diversify and centralize the offer to clients.
The aim is to centralize an offer which remains to date disseminated, scattered
and confused in the eyes of clients; thus it will be channeled and adapted to
Our main objective is to make this center a polyvalent center
(of information, promotion, commercialization and reservation) and an agent
of sustainable touristic development representing local, regional and
The center's missions :
- Touristic information
- Promotion of the region and its touristic services
- Commercialization of services provided
Our scope of action:
Three large regions are concerned with this project :
- The region of Kesrouan
- The region of Jbeil
- The region of Batroun
The Region Potentials
- Concentration of archeological riches: The roman temples
of Faqra, the Nahr el Kalb steles and bridge, the site of Byblos, the temples
of Afka, Machnaka, the Phoenician wall of Batroun…
- Concentration of natural riches as well as unusual and surprising
landscapes : the grottos of Jeita, Afka, Roueis..., the natural
bridge of Faqra, the fish fossils of Haqel-Hjoula,Tannourine and Jaj Cedars…
- Concentration of praying and pilgrimage sites: Harissa,
Annaya, Kfifane, Mayfouk, Hardine,Jrabta…
- A large scope of possible open air activities: pedestrian
hiking tracks, skiing resorts (Faraya, Laqlouq), biking, caving, climbing,
paragliding, swimming, diving…
- Rural life and local crafts: presses, olive groves,
mills, the sculptors village of Rachana, the Amchit basketry, the Asiya pottery…
- Day life and night life… : Shopping, restaurants,
cafés, festivals, concerts, Casino du Liban…
Why would the city of Jbeil-Byblos house this center?
- Geographically, Byblos is at the center of action of three regions : Keserouan,
Jbeil and Batroun.
- Jbeil-Byblos is the second most visited archeological site in Lebanon and
the most visited in the area.
- The different initiatives taken by the partners in this project have allowed
us to acquire offices in the old city and to launch this project.
Who benefits from the center's services?
Lebanese residents, Lebanese emigrants, residents of Arab countries, expatriates,
Many Lebanese do not know their country well and wish to get to know it better.
This center will be a real reference to the Lebanese who would like to ask about
the possibility of discovering their country. Taking "Home Holidays"
is more and more hip. However, this necessitates an offer of products of quality
with a good variety of possibilities at interesting prices with purchase facilities.
This tourism fills dead seasons.
The Lebanese Diaspora constitutes an immense market trying to find its roots
in Lebanon and rediscover the country. It needs a reference, a concrete guide.
Recent or old, it constitutes a particularly interesting market to re-conquer.
The Diaspora comprises of millions and represents an important potential for
Lebanon. They are mostly first and second generation emigrants.
Residents of Arab countries
These clients are quite specific and may be treated as an individual category.
The periods they frequent the country differ from those of occidental tourists,
since they come to Lebanon during Muslim holidays and in summer. They seek to
benefit from the Mediterranean climate given the desert climate they have in
the Arab countries. These clients seem to be quite complementary to the occidental
clients since their travel periods, utility services and interests are quite
Expatriates (occidental residents in the region)
Their number is estimated at 5 million and 6% of them are in Lebanon. They
need some distractions that would help them live in an oriental cultural environment
that is quite different from theirs. On the regional market, that of the expatriates
is quite particular: it is interesting thanks to its proximity and purchase
Foreign / occidental tourists
This category of clients comprises of people coming to Lebanon through an
agency or a personal initiative. They often need to get various information
on touristic services offered and a cultural documentation about Lebanon. The
image of Lebanon on the international markets is still mal perceived and this
impedes the touristic development of the country.
- Service providers and organizers of travel, accommodation (Travel agencies,
hotels, restaurants, cafés, transportation…)
- Equipment renting
- Attraction parks
- Event organizing companies and associations (concerts, festivals, fairs,
- Scholar establishment, universities and institutions.
- Other / miscellaneous
Services proposed to the wide public
- Consultation of a qualified personnel regarding all sorts of information
on the region.
- Direct services of reservation of services, touristic products or cultural
- Activities and animation (conferences, outings, week-ends, pedagogical
Services proposed to our professional clients
- Consultation of a qualified personnel regarding a tourist strategy and
a development policy.
- Direct services of reservation of services, touristic products or cultural
- Promotion and commercialization of services offered by service providers
through the center.
- Training and seminars for professionals
- Participation in events aiming at developing the region .