ANERA: Mapping and Assessing Needs of Existing Rural Hospitality Businesses

InfoPro was commissioned the study by American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA). The project concentrated on rural tourism and alternative lodgings. It aimed to expand, solidify and institutionalize the rural hospitality infrastructure and encourage activities of responsible tourism to contribute meaningfully to the local Lebanese economy.  The first step for ANERA was to create a set of standards that local alternative lodgings would have to adhere by. InfoPro, through desk research, mapped lodgings all over Lebanon. InfoPro then carried out face-to-face interviews with the owners of 60 of the lodgings. InfoPro, as part of its mandate, assessed the conditions of the buildings and grounds to see whether they conform to statutory and safety requirements. InfoPro also mapped the services provided by the guesthouses and the support services available in the direct vicinity of the lodgings. Capacity and occupancy rates as well as booking methods and prices were established. In addition, the survey assessed the marketing tools utilized by the lodgings and the linkages with other local attractions. The information gathered allowed ANERA and InfoPro to formulate a gap analysis which helped identify the volume and high level boundaries of work needed on the ground to improve the physical infrastructure, service quality, and ancillary services of the sector.