After a turbulent half-year for the country, Jordan has launched its new National Tourism Strategy 2011-2015 as it seeks to rebuild.
Outlined by Marouf Al Bakhit, prime minister of Jordan, the strategy builds on achievements of the previous plan, which ran from 2004-2010.
At it heart is an overall goal of returning Jordan’s tourism receipts to JD4.2 billion annually by 2015.
The strategy was developed by the private sector guided by the ministry of tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) in partnership with the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB), department of antiquities, and the Federation of Tourism Associations.
The USAID Jordan Tourism Development project (Siyaha) provided technical expertise and funding for the development of the strategy over a period of more than a year.
“Jordan will be a distinctive destination offering diverse, year-round visitor experiences that will enrich the lives of Jordanians and their guests,” said Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, minister of tourism and antiquities.
“This strategy will direct the tourism sector in planning and implementing the changes and actions necessary to raise the overall competitiveness of Jordan’s tourism industry, enhance the visitor experience through innovation in product development, better position and promote the tourism offering to global markets so as to attract higher yield customers throughout the year, create a regulatory and operating environment which drives better business performance, and release the full energy of the private sector as the engine of growth.
He added: “Jordan will continuously work on creating a more supportive business climate to enable successful investments in the tourism sector, as Jordan has great potential, which investors can help us reach, and we in return can help investors reach their potential and contribute to the economic prosperity.”
The strategy was developed over the past year, with working groups specialised in each of the four pillar areas - marketing, product development, human resource development, and enabling environment.
In 2010, Jordan welcomed 8.2 million visitors, and tourism receipts totalled JD2.4 billion.
However, figures for 2011 are expected to be significantly lower following unrest in the Middle East throughout the year.
The updated strategy thus details the actions needed to achieve a return to previous heights.
This includes raising the overall competitiveness of Jordan’s tourism industry, enhancing the visitor experience through innovation in product development, better position and promote the tourism offering to global markets to attract higher yield customers throughout the year, and creating a regulatory and operating environment which drives better business performance and releases the full energy of the private sector as the engine of growth.
Breaking Travel News recently visited Jordan to assess the situation on the ground, take a look at our thoughts here.
Also in Jordan today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Amman.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Amman.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.