Boukra Lebanon

Boukra is a young, women-led NGO operating in the field of Heritage & Sustainability. Boukra has created “Beit Jeddé”, a Sustainable Tourism project in the village of Mtein (located in the Matn district of Lebanon). Beit Jeddé is a multifaceted project that includes a guesthouse, a community center, a local producers’ support initiative, as well as heritage awareness activities, aimed both at locals and visitors.

The promotion initiative carried out by Boukra under RESTART MED! helped in producing an interactive “Sustainability Map for Mtein”, which highlights not only Beit Jedde as a sustainable tourism destination, but also other stakeholders and heritage sites in the village. The map aims to increase Mtein’s visibility among local and international tourists. In the long term, increased visitor flows will benefit the local community and encourage the development of local sustainability initiatives, as well as the preservation of Mtein’s rich cultural heritage. 

The implementation of the Sustainability Map by Boukra engaged the community by encouraging and including the participation of local businesses and tourism stakeholders in the initiative. The map includes short documentaries about local tourism destinations and businesses as well as a method to book and connect with them. Boukra also ensured cultural respect and preservation to the Mtein area by promoting respect for local custums, traditions, and cultural heritage. In addition, Boukra emphasized collaboration by publishing interviews with multiple tourism experts on the website.

Cezar’s Project

Cezar’s Projects is a rural development initiative led by a skilled youthful local team oriented toward rural development. They focus on matching local people with potential opportunities that suit their ecosystem and existing local resources in Mount Lebanon through initiating projects in sustainable tourism and agriculture.

Cezar’s Projects’ goal through RESTART MED! was to improve its marketing efforts to increase its impact when nakhal it comes to promoting economic and social development and supporting local capacity building through sustainable income generation. The activities undertaken to achieve those results included creating and installing directional signage, improving the website, and creating branding and packaging for one of their products.

Cezar’s Projects engages and empowers the community by encouraging the participation of local businesses and entrepreneurs in tourism initiatives. They also promote cultural respect and preservation through promoting local customs, traditions, and cultural heritage such as the Khalte Rahija Kanoons that teach kanoon making craft (pottery). In addition, Cezar’s Projects encourage local sourcing by supporting locally produced goods by businesses such as syrups, jams, vinegar, herbs, and more that are produced by local families and farmers. Moreover, they promote low-impact activities that have minimal impact on the environment such as cultural experiences.


The area of the Belìce valley takes its name from the river that runs through it: a rich and enchanting land hosting the largest archaeological site in Europe, Selinunte, a direct expression of classical Greece and the Doric style, founded in the 7th century. The area is bordered to the south by Belice River Mouth Natural Reserve, a protected area extending from the coast to the hinterland, enlivened by dunes and Mediterranean vegetation and is dotted of Medieval villages, remains of ancient settlement, and ghost town that fell victim to the terrible 1968 earthquake. Those interested in contemporary art can find a large collection in Gibellina, in its museum but, above all, in the streets of new Gibellina rebuilt after the earthquake. Don’t miss Il Grande Cretto: an immense piece of contemporary land art built on the rubble of the city to commemorate its destruction by the earthquake.

This is also a very important enogastronomy region in Sicily with refined wines and other excellent products such as oil and cheese.


Within the project Restart MED! a new experiential tourist product has been developed with the full involvement of local communities, small businesses, farmers, experience-makers and entities committed to the sustainable development of the area, along with local institutions with the intention of creating a destination by itself and connecting it with other areas in Sicily. This has fostered new connections and reinforced awareness about the value of the area.


Four different thematic itineraries and experiences (single day or multi-day tours) allow the visitor to explore the area and dig deep into local culture. These include archaeology, bike tours, farm experiences, trekkings, food tastings and sea activities appealing to all the senses of the curious and attentive visitor and offer travellers an in-depth experience while ensuring a long-term impact on the area.

Cultural routes in Umm Qais, Jordan


Umm Qais in Jordan is one of the pilot areas in the framework of the European project CROSSDEV Cultural Routes for Sustainable Social and economic Development in the Mediterranean. A sustainable experiential  tourism product, including adventure and cultural activity, have been developed to capitalize on the historical value of archaeological sites and natural diversity of the umm Qais region, along with the geopolitical value of the area


Umm Qais as a good practice example shows how to enhance the touristic experience by putting together historical food and interaction with the local community and natural and adventure experience.

Umm Qais offers a half-day mixed experience  and a multi-day experience, which help and empower the local communities with new jobs and products.

Umm Qais offers authentic nature experiences in the natural Yarmouk Reserve area that includes biodiversity, different hiking trails, bird watching and local gastronomy. 

Umm Qais also offers authentic cultural experiences that includes a variety of activities such as visits to heritage sites with many historical layers from Roman, Islamic, Ottoman and modern era, local gastronomy, local handcrafts and experiencing local community daily life.

Target groups: National and international tourists, mainly from the European Mediterranean countries;

families, cultural tourists.

Iter Vitis – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

Iter Vitis is a Cultural route of the Council of Europe which connects countries from the Mediterranean region, Western Europe and Caucasus that share a heritage of vine production and wine making. Iter Vitis Route showcases and preserves the viticultural landscapes, the culture of the vine and winemaking traditions. The Iter Vitis route selects authentic wine tourism experiences that include exploring the heritage of the great varieties of European oenological territories and landscapes. Besides developing sustainable forms of ecotourism, the federation also works on preservation of the heritage of historical and ancient vines and of the culture of vine and wine, and on the promotion of research, documentation, and environmental protection activities to defend biodiversity.

Furthermore, Iter Vitis is a good example of a cultural route that, besides cultural heritage preservation activities, creates concrete sustainable wine tourism products – different tours across the network destinations that last from one day to two weeks. Many of the tours allow travellers to discover lesser-known regions and countries, and Iter Vitis cooperates with several tour operators in charge of the marketing of its destinations.

Marketing & distribution channels: Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe channels (website, social media, newsletter) and their special programmes, e.g., Routes4U blog (a joint programme between the Council of Europe and the European Union to foster regional development); national tourism authorities of the network; tour operators from the network countries; digital brochure.

Target groups: International groups of travellers looking for cultural, gastronomic, and especially wine experiences.

Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve, The Adonis Route, Lebanon

Adonis Route is located in Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve in Lebanon and is one of the pilot areas in the framework of the European project CROSSDEV Cultural Routes for Sustainable Social and economic Development in the Mediterranean. In the framework of the project a sustainable tourism product, the Adonis Route, has been developed to capitalize on the heritage of the local archaeological sites and the Adonis myth, whose events, according to the myth, took place in the reserve.

This good practice example shows how to enhance the touristic experience from a half-day hike to a multi-day experience, thus also contributing to the local economy by including local communities (farmers, artisans, local guest house owners, guides, drivers, local shop owners).

Adonis Route is an authentic cultural and nature experience in the Biosphere Reserve that includes a variety of activities – from hikes, to visiting heritage sites, to trying local gastronomy and engaging in the local workshops. The currently designed product is a five-day package called ‘The Adonis Route: between Myth and Reality’ that invites travellers to visit the birthplace of the Adonis Myth and to discover the beauty of nature and culture that surround it.

The offer includes: cultural sites visits, hiking and wellness activities, experiences of the local gastronomy, lebanese culture experience through different workshops, for example, learning with the guest house owner how to prepare pickles and special Lebanese infusions Zhourat, compotes and seasonal dishes; storytelling workshop; workshop on making traditional Phoenician hats.

Target groups: National and international tourists, mainly from the European Mediterranean countries;

families, cultural tourists.

Via Selinuntina is an ancient route that goes along the southern coast of the island of Sicily, Italy. In the framework of the European project CROSSDEV Cultural Routes for Sustainable Social and economic Development in Mediterranean, the pilot area of the Belice Valley on this route was chosen to develop a niche sustainable tourism offer to promote lesser-known sites and the astonishing local cultural heritage such as the archaeological site of Selinunte, and to provide economic opportunities for local populations.

This practice example showcases how to enhance lesser-known, hinterland destinations by creating an attractive tourism offer for a higher end target group and involving different local actors in the process. The highlights of Via Selinuntina are the ancient cultural heritage sites with a backdrop of stunning nature to experience in a more private atmosphere, away from the tourist crowds, as well as the boutique experiences of quality local gastronomy and accommodation.

Currently, a Via Selinuntina touristic product has been developed – a four-day package with the title ‘The Magic of Via Selinuntina: a dream suspended between sea and countryside’ that offers this unique experience and includes: cultural sites visits, archaeological park in Selinunte, villages destroyed after the earthquake in 1968, tour of the Sambuca di Sicilia town; gastronomic experiences: different and surprising locations have been picked out, such as an Italian style Aperitivo in the harbour, dinner at the restaurant on the beach, lunch in the winery (including a wine tasting), lunch on the boat with a freshly caught fish dishes, other special experiences: afternoon relaxing at the thermal springs, morning fish tourism experience with local fishermen, evening bike tour through the vineyards to arrive for sunset.

Target groups: domestic and international travellers, couples, higher end cultural tourists.