Lebanon has become the first non-European country in the Eastern Mediterranean to be a member of the European Council for cultural and tourism routes.
The Lebanese Minister of Tourism, Walid Nassar, made the announcement on Wednesday, stating that “The European Council for cultural and tourism routes included Lebanon in 4 tracks, the Phoenician track, the Umayyad, the wine road, and the olive tree road.”
During the ceremony, Minister Nassar shared that the town of Bkassine was declared in December of 2021 as one of the best tourist villages in the world, as part of the initiative of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO),
On this occasion, the mayor of Bkassine, Habib Fares, said that his town attaining that world tourism level is not the deed of chance or the outcome of a few years of work but that of generations building the town with strong arms, “unrelenting determination, and tireless solid will.”
Bkassine, originally Beit Kassine, is located near Jezzine. Its municipality was founded in 1899 and has been, since then, taking care of the town and helping manage any crisis that hit Lebanon, as noted by the mayor.
He cited the waste crisis and how Bkassine started recycling, leading to the elimination of landfills in the town.
Facing the economic crisis of late, the municipality helped to grow large areas of grain and participated in the cultivation of seasonal vegetables of various kinds.
In regards to tourism activities, “The Road of The Mountain Trail has been connected by a secondary road that passes through the town of Bkassine and its forest,” Mayor Fares indicated, adding that the town is home to several guest houses equipped to receive tourists.
This is not the first time that the Lebanese village of Bkassine takes the spotlight. It was previously awarded by the National Institute for Heritage. In 2019, it was ranked as one of Lebanon’s most beautiful towns and the town of religious diversity.