Tourists walk with a guide in Downtown Beirut, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Zahida Darwiche Jabbour, secretary-general of the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, told The Daily Star that tour guides could add significant value for visitors due to the breadth of historical, geographical and cultural context that they provide.Online resources can provide travelers with important information on a particular country or destination, but can never replace a tour guide, Nada Sardouk, director general of Lebanon's Tourism Ministry, told The Daily Star.Sayed suggested that given the security issues in the region, governments should support guides by providing them with medical insurance.Despite security challenges and a number of high profile attacks on tourist sites, there is still room for the sector to grow in the region, particularly in Lebanon, Sardouk said. An influx of money from visitors to such sites, by using tour guides or eating at local restaurants, could help stimulate local economies and develop rural areas.
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