Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Grand Opening of Jerash Visitor Center

10 Dec 2015

At a ceremony today held under the patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) officially opened the upgraded and renovated Jerash Visitor Center. The transformed Jerash Visitor Center is truly notable, providing a world-class reception for visitors upon their arrival to the archaeological site. Partnering with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the USAID Economic Growth Through Sustainable Tourism Project supported the transformation by developing a conceptual design that utilized the existing facility for a speedier and more cost-effective transition. Technical support was also provided by the USAID tourism project throughout implementation and construction. Per the USAID tourism project design, the exterior and interior of the center were completely overhauled to create an attractive, informative and engaging start to the site visit, as well as an effective working space. A new interpretation area, with information panels, artifact displays and maps, visitors can begin with a 20-minutes guided or self-guided tour. Ambassador Wells said at the inauguration of the renovated Jerash Visitors Center on Thursday: "The United States and Jordan have partnered to sustain the vital tourism sector's strength and prosperity over the past several decades. To date, USAID has provided nearly $90 million to support the development of Jordan's tourism initiatives." "The renovations result in better site conservation and presentation, new signage and interpretation, and rest areas, to name a few. This was a collaborative effort that pooled Jordanian and U.S. resources to improve tourism in Jerash and is a testament to what we can achieve through our partnership." The transformation of Jerash Visitor Center is the latest in a series of UASID tourism project-supported enhancements of the Jerash Archaeological Site that stem from a comprehensive site improvement plan for the site developed by the USAID tourism project in collaboration with MoTA and the Department of Antiquities (DoA) in 2011. The Jarash site improvement plan was multifaceted and resulted in better site conservation and presentation, new signage and interpretation, site furniture and rest areas, a delineated visitor circulation route, amongst other areas of assistance.