Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

CELA Rural Lodge now open in Tafileh

The Cela Rural Lodge in Ma’tan Heritage Village in Tafileh was officially opened this month. This new tourism experience offers guests an opportunity to become familiar with the rural life of Jordan whilst being immersed in the history, nature and culture of Tafileh. 

The lodge has 10 rooms and can accommodate up to 25 guests. It was established in 2016 by the Baqea Tourism Cooperative Society (BTCS). However, BTCS faced issues in financing physical upgrades, offering adequate training to employees on first-aid, safe-food handling, and other essential skills, as well as marketing the lodge to attract guests. 

To address these challenges, USAID BEST supported BTCS to revamp the lodge and improve operations and marketing. Support included an interior makeover, safe food handling and hospitality training for lodge staff, and installing a solar power system. BEST also helped set up social media accounts and a website for promoting the lodge, and assisted in engaging the local community in operating the lodge and experiences that will be provided through it, such as hiking trails, folklore dances, and others. 

The Cela Rural Lodge has created 10 fulltime jobs for the local community, in addition to 4 part-time opportunities for women who produce homemade meals for visitors to the lodge. In addition, 10 locals have been trained as guides and will escort visitors along nearby trails from Ma’tan to Cela, the Dana Natural Reserve, and Busaira. The next step for the lodge management is to develop local cultural experiences for tourists, such as organizing dabka performances in cooperation with local folklore entertainers, introducing visitors to traditional board games, showing them how traditional dishes are prepared, and regaling them with the region's folktales and history. 

See what the Cela Rural Lodge in Tafileh is all about below.