Ben Hoffler is a trail developer and author based in the Middle East. Over the last decade he has walked more than 10,000km across the region, working with more than 14 different Bedouin tribes create some of its most successful, highly-decorated community tourism projects.
He is a founder of Egypt’s first long-distance hiking route the Sinai Trail, along with its sister projects the Red Sea Mountain Trail and Wadi Rum Trail. Traversing the traditional territories of Bedouin tribes in Egypt and Jordan each project is owned and managed by its own community and all seek to boost tourism in new areas and create legitimate jobs and opportunities in remote, often marginalized regions; especially those of a kind that help keep critically-endangered Bedouin knowledge, skills and heritage relevant and alive in contemporary times.
Earlier this year, these trail projects united in an initiative called the Bedouin Trail, forming a 1000km intercontinental hiking trail between Africa and Asia that crosses modern political borders whilst remaining always within the invisible bounds of what might be called the Bedouin Nation and that also aims to open a space in which humanity’s earliest foot journeys out of Africa can be commemorated. Ben believes tourism can be a force for positive, powerful change in the modern world.
Alongside his work developing hiking trails he volunteers on several other community tourism initiatives and is the author of Trailblazer’s Sinai: The Trekking Guide. Ben is currently based in the northern parts of Saudi Arabia, where he is working on developing a number of new trail projects that are set to launch in the coming years.