World Travel Market 2016: UNWTO launches Phoenicians tourism route
An integral component of Mediterranean trade and culture, the Phoenicians’ Route links 18 countries with a common heritage.
With the aim of revitalising this itinerary as a tourism route, the World Tourism Organisation, ministry of tourism of Lebanon and Council of Europe launched the Phoenicians’ Route Cultural Tourism Programme, which integrates public and private sector, at World Travel Market in London.
During the event, participants discussed the development and marketing of three pilot cultural tourism itineraries along the Phoenicians’ Route.
The itineraries will connect three continents, 18 countries and more than 80 towns.
They cover the various periods of Phoenician heritage: the Origin (Lebanon, Cyprus and Greece); the Punics and the Sea (Italy, Malta and Tunisia) and the Expansion (France and Spain).
“Nothing is better for bringing understanding to the region than having people travel this route.
“The capacity of tourism to link different cultures, traditions and faiths is immense, particularly in the Mediterranean, one of the most diverse areas of the world,” said UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai.
Issues of transport, connectivity, visa facilitation, branding and product development of this new Route were discussed with tour operators present at the event.
The Phoenicians’ Route is the network of the nautical trade courses that Phoenicians used since the twelfth century BC in the Mediterranean Sea.
These routes became an integral part of the essence of the Mediterranean culture.
The potential of the Phoenicians’ Route to provide economic opportunities, intercultural exchange and cultural revival has been recognized by the Council of Europe.