Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Promoting Jordan through film

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The Royal Film Commission held its first conference to discuss positioning Jordan as a desirable film tourism destination, during which a three-year strategy for boosting film tourism in Jordan was launched. The strategy was developed by RFC in cooperation with Jordan Tourism Board and with USAID BEST support.

In the past decade, popular blockbuster films such as The Rogue One, The Martian, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade have shot scenes in Jordan. A strategy that focuses on attracting fans of these films has the potential to draw in larger numbers of visitors.

The conference hosted international speakers from countries with some of the latest and most successful global developments in film tourism to share their approach to using film tourism to boost visitor numbers.

According to film tourism expert Dr. Stefan Roesch, “Jordan is in a luxurious position to capitalize on film tourism because there have been major blockbusters filmed in Jordan, such as Lawrence of Arabia and The Martian. If we focus on drawing in tourists to see specific products, I believe Jordan will be in the top 5 of the film tourism industry within the next three years.”

Anja Hartung from Denmark’s Tourism Board, gave insight on how Denmark has taken the blockbuster movie, Trolls, and used it to draw in tourists to her country where the fictional characters originated.  “It’s not just about the movie,” said Ms. Hartung. “It is about the marketing and partnerships that can come out of it to help draw people to a specific location.”

The strategy seeks to increase international visitors to Jordan by 20% through film tourism over the next few years.

Film commissions compete to attract part of an $88 billion-dollar industry that yields deep direct and indirect economic benefits to filming destinations. USAID BEST is supporting Jordan’s efforts to boost its international competitiveness, create new tourism jobs, and distribute tourism revenues across the country through this film strategy, which lays out a clear path to attracting film productions and visitors."