Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Cairo Amman Bank learns about the potential of Jordan’s tourism sector

15 Apr 2019

USAID BEST and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) recently implemented a tourism awareness session for Cairo Amman Bank’s SME credit and relationship teams as part of a USAID BEST initiative to expand the number of financial institutions involved in extending credit to tourism businesses.

In the past few years, particularly since the 2010 slump in visitors to Jordan, the tourism sector has faced challenges in obtaining financing due a perception of it being a risky investment. USAID BEST is working with local banks and other stakeholders to address this challenge.

The training for CAB staff is helping to change perceptions that have been ingrained since the tourism drop. The session detailed the technical assistance undertaken by USAID to equip tourism businesses seeking loans with the skills to develop strong applications that are more likely to be accepted by the banks.

The awareness session also featured an overview of the tourism sector’s performance since 2015, expectations for major Jordan tourism hubs and national tourism statistics. An example presented was the steady influx of visitors to several Jordan’s most prominent tourism locales, accounting that more than two and a half million people had been to Ajloun, Jarash, Madaba, Petra, Wadi Rum and elsewhere in 2018, which was more than double visitor numbers four years earlier in 2015.

USAID BEST has worked since 2016 to improve access to finance for businesses, investors and entrepreneurs operating in the tourism sector. Increasing access to finance works to improve the business climate and increase competitiveness of Jordan’s tourism sector, allowing tourism SMEs to grow and sustain their businesses and introduce new tourism products to attract tourists.