Agritourism tourism on the rise across the MEA region

Agritourism tourism on the rise across the MEA region

Throughout the MEA region, eco, wellness, adventure and agritourism (EWAA) tourism is becoming increasingly popular, specifically within secondary cities. EWAA tourism embodies a sustainable model centered on immersive experiences influenced by the local surroundings, fostering respectful interactions between visitors and host communities. Although not a novel concept, EWAA tourism is gaining traction and attracting more travelers seeking meaningful and eco-friendly adventures in the region according to Colliers recent report.

According to the EWAA emerging tourist hot spots, particularly in the Middle East, are transforming their rural landscapes to create destination-centric experiences that stimulate local economies. Backed by solid government initiatives, countries like the UAE and KSA are taking significant strides toward sustainable EWAA tourism, with pioneering projects such as Habitas, AlUla and Hatta Sidr Trailers Resort.
Following a sustainable approach to lower environmental impacts and enhanced ROI, there has been a shift toward modular design and construction, which is an innovative building technique that includes the pre-fabrication of modules off-site. Compared to traditional methods, a modular build offers key benefits, including but not limited to reduced waste on the site, time-saving operations, controlled production, reuse and repurpose opportunities, and minimal disruption to site surroundings.
The study further shows that in order to reap the benefits and minimize the negative implications of introducing EWAA tourism, proper planning and management are key. This could involve implementing strict environmental regulations, offering educational programs for tourists, fostering community engagement and ensuring that the economic benefits of tourism are fairly distributed within the community.
Looking at the future of EWAA tourism in the region, the analysis concludes that the strength of the concept goes beyond the physical structure, relying rather on the coherence and consistency between the storytelling, design, service offering and social and ecological initiatives. For each phase of the project life cycle, critical elements must be considered to ensure the project’s durability, and proper resource allocation at the early stage can yield favorable returns when developing EWAA assets, despite the potential requirement for more time and financial resources compared to urban products.

For the full report, click here: EWWA-III-Tourism-Paper-August-2023-FINAL.pdf



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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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