DHIAFEE – Responsible Tourism in Lebanon

April 3, 2014 ANERA
Community Development, Economic Development, Environmental Projects, Job Creation, Lebanon, Vocational Training

The Reality

In Lebanon, rural residents suffer from high rates of poverty and unemployment. In the wake of the 2006 fighting in southern Lebanon, that suffering increased as potential tourists feared traveling in the countryside. The lack of support for infrastructure development also limited job opportunities. Lebanon’s lush countryside and historic sites offer opportunities to build the tourism sector and increase income for communities across the country. But, the quality of cottage inns needed improvement to attract new tourists and customers. 

ANERA’s Response

With USAID funding, ANERA implemented the DHIAFEE program from 2005 to 2008.  The funding has been renewed for 2014 to upgrade the network across Lebanon.

DHIAFEE in Arabic means hospitality. It is also an acronym describing the mission of the program: Developing the Hospitality Industry’s Abilities-Fostering Economic Expansion.

The primary goal of the DHIAFEE Program was to increase economic opportunities in rural communities in Lebanon by stimulating sustainable income and employment generation activities in the tourism sector. The program established a network of alternative tourism lodging facilities, the first of its kind in the Middle East. ANERA partnered with Al-Kafaat University in Lebanon to help increase the number of students and the quality of graduates in the tourism workforce.

The work focused mostly on building the capacity of owners and staff of forty seven cottage inns

How It Works

The DHIAFEE program goals:  

  • Increase the number and improve the quality of cottage inns in rural areas throughout Lebanon.
  • Increase the number and quality of qualified persons engaged in the tourism workforce in cooperation with Al Kafaat University vocational education.
  • Improve the promotion and marketing of cottage inns so that they can increase their market share and attract tourists and customers.
  • Generate additional income for cottage inns and other local businesses through product development initiatives and the development of niche market tourism.
  • Create and promote a DHIAFEE network.
  • Produce brochures and websites for DHIAFEE facilities.
  • Coordinate with the Ministry of Tourism to develop a new classification initiative and link the network to tourism stakeholders.

Visit a DHIAFEE Inn

Dhiafee-lodge2“Though we faced many problems during construction, we really believed in what we were doing and kept pressing forward.” Read the story >>