Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Two rural homes in the villages of As-Salt added to the area’s agritourism offering

farmers market

Two new homes in the villages of Um Al Amad and Addira in As-Salt have joined the BookAgri network of farms and homes offering rural and agricultural experiences in the area. BookAgri is an agritourism effort led by Al Marj Non-Profit for Training and Development Company (Al Marj). USAID BEST is supporting Al Marj work to develop agritourism in the rural areas of As-Salt.

Mrs. Esraa Al Zu’bi, who is known in her village for her homemade zaatar mix, will host visitors for breakfast and offer interactive demonstrations of how to make zaatar in addition to two types of traditions sweets: ma’moul and gras al eid. The second experience to be added to the BookAgri brand is the process of making jameed, which is the key ingredient to Jordan’s national dish of mansaf. Um Ta'an and her family will teach visitors how jameed is made and offer food tastings. Both Esraa and Um Ta’an’s homes have been equipped with the furniture and tools needed to host guests for their respective agritourism experiences starting in March this year.

According to Esraa, "I learned about the opportunity of offering agricultural experiences for tourism in my home through Al-Marjan Cooperative Society when they hosted Mrs. Rudaina Haddad from Al Marj to talk about it.  I discussed the idea with my family and my children were excited about it as they see it as an opportunity to connect with and meet new people visiting the area. And of course, it is an excellent opportunity to boost our income.”

"I learned how to prepare jameed from my mother-in-law and began making small quantities for sale. Demand gradually increased to 3000 kilos a year," explained Um Ta'an, who will soon be sharing her excellent jameed-making skills with visitors. She sees it as a good experience for others and as a good family business, saying "I think visitors will be interested in how jameed, labaneh and ghee are made and if things go well (with the agritourism experience) I may hire someone to help me run this business, in addition to my children who will be helping from the start.”

Al Marj currently has a network of nine farms and rural homes that offer a variety of services, including accommodation and catering, and rural experience activities such as milking goats, collecting chicken eggs, plowing farmland, collecting honey, and making zaatar, butter, bread and local dishes. Al Marj also cooperates with Jalad Camp and Tallet Jala'ad resort and restaurant, organizing visits to these facilities under the BookAgri brand.

USAID BEST provides financial and technical support to Al Marj Company as part of its efforts to diversify tourism products and experiences in Jordan and to attract visitors to secondary tourist sites, lengthen the duration of their stay and create jobs for local communities.

To learn more about farms and rural homes that offers services and experiences under Bookagri please visit:  https://www.facebook.com/bookagrijo

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