Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

World-renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli captivates crowds in Jerash

“It's been an honor and such a great emotion, to make my voice sound [sic] in a place like this, an extraordinary enchanting land drenched in history,” said Andrea Bocelli following his concert in, Jordan last week. He continued, “Jerash testifies, in itself, as a magnificent meeting point between different cultures and different civilizations: a perfect place for a night of music and shared beauty.”

Bocelli, one of the world’s most popular classical singers, gave an unforgettable performance in Jerash with the Temple of Zeus serving as the backdrop. The concert drew in more than 3,000 people.

The Friends of Jordan Festivals organized this event with the support of USAID BEST, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) and the Tourism Investment Board. USAID BEST assisted marketing the event as part of its efforts to promote Jordan as an appealing tourism destination that offers a broad range of attractions. Marketing efforts targeted an international audience of Bocelli fans that would have otherwise not considered visiting Jordan. Hosting artists like Bocelli can have a major impact on Jordan as a tourism destination as it offers local businesses the opportunity to boost sales through visitors they would otherwise not had access to.

Bocelli was accompanied by 160 artists, including Jordanian soprano Dima Bawab, members of the Jordan National Conservatory Orchestra and many other musicians and singers who were excited to perform with one of the world’s top opera singers.

Minister Lina Annab said, “The private sector, like Friends of Jordan Festivals, has contributed positively to tourism here in Jordan. Concerts like Bocelli’s have attracted many tourists to the Kingdom. We saw some nationalities, which did not used to come to Jordan, have now started visiting the Kingdom.”

While in Jordan, Bocelli took time to visit the Baptism site and said, “I felt the need to express my devotion, praying at the site where our Lord Jesus was baptized in Bethany, where the air is filled with sacredness and the water flows with spirituality and prayer, preserving the memory of an old but still relevant encounter that has changed the history of mankind and the world.”

Andrea Bocelli sang a variety of hit classical and pop songs including La donna è mobile, from Verdi’s Rigoletto, Be my Love and Maria. Events such as this work to transform the perception of Jordan, showing people from all over that Jordan should remain at the top of their list of tourism destinations.