The Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) and the American non-profit organisation Tourism Cares, on Sunday, launched the “Meaningful Travel Map of Jordan”, comprising a total of 12 touristic experiences benefiting both travelers and host communities.
Available to the public at GoLocalJordan.com, the map features travel experiences offered by several Jordanian non-profit organisations and social enterprises, with the aim of providing a quality cultural experience for travelers while benefiting the underprivileged local population.
The launch came during the opening of the Tourism Cares with Jordan Dead Sea Sessions, which brought together over 70 travel industry delegates from America and Europe and 40 representatives of the Jordanian tourism sector, in order to discuss the integration of social enterprises in the travel industry.
Corporate social responsibility, sustainability and the role of policymakers were some of the topics discussed at the forum, which took place at the Dead Sea on Sunday.
“Our communities have as much to offer as our heritage, and the good news is that now, you don’t even have to choose,” Tourism Minister Lina Annab said about the new map, noting that “any trip to Jordan would not be complete without a visit to Petra or Wadi Rum — and one or two of these enterprises offering a unique insight into the spirit and people of Jordan”.
Muna Haddad, founder of the social tourism cluster BARAKA, pointed out that “all the enterprises included in the map have in common the fact that they protect our community while offering an unforgettable travel experience”, adding that “this is only the beginning of this project, and we are hoping to see it grow over time in order to show the world how tourism can be used to do good”.
In this regard, Haddad highlighted the stories of enterprises such as the Bani Hamida Women’s Weaving Project or the recently founded Jordan Trail Association, commending them for their contributions to the social tourism sector in Jordan.
For his part, founder of Friends International Sebastien Marot said that “government agencies, social enterprises and the private sector are reunited here today, and we should take advantage of this unique opportunity to come up with solutions and services that take into account both tourists and the community”.
“The very act of travelling can be a force for good and these experiences are really about connecting people: travellers who are exploring Jordan and the dynamic local leaders who are moving these communities forward,” Tourism Cares Chairman Derek Hydon added.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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