Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Jordan Heritage to create jobs for locals and enhance visitor experiences in As-Salt

7 Nov 2019

Opportunities in tourism and hospitality in As-Salt grow as the heritage-rich city continues to develop into a promising tourist destination in Jordan. Jordan Heritage, with support from USAID BEST, is undertaking a project that addresses the growing need for job creation and enhances visitor offerings in As-Salt. In addition to the existing Jordan Heritage Cafe in As-Salt, there are ongoing efforts to establish an authentic Jordanian restaurant, bed and breakfast, photo gallery, and local food and souvenirs shop on Al-Khader Street, one of the main streets of the city.

The cafe currently has two employees. Renovation and furnishings should be completed for a soft opening of the restaurant by the end of November. Once the restaurant, photo gallery, and bed and breakfast are fully operational, the project will directly employ 13 people, including local youth and women in As-Salt.

Mr. Firas Khlaifat, founder of the Jordan Heritage Association notes that the project will create further income opportunities along the supply chain, particularly for women owning home-based businesses. He notes, “When we are at full capacity, we are looking at 44 new jobs created between the employees and the suppliers providing food products for the restaurant and shop.”

The project will simultaneously contribute to positive social change by employing youth in As-Salt. The Jordan Heritage Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a local organization, Dar Abu Abdullah, to provide support for their vocational training program for disadvantaged youth.

Firas says, “Dar Abu Abdullah’s training program helps these youth access economic opportunities. We will choose the majority of staff for the new restaurant from this group. The plans for Jordan Heritage Association in As-Salt will focus on creating opportunities and implementing international standards and best practices when it comes to food, service, and hospitality.”

The Jordan Heritage is one of several grant recipients in the city of As-Salt. In 2017, USAID BEST began to improve access to financing and provide grant funding, technical support, and training to tourism business and entrepreneurs in the city as a part of the Enterprise Development Program (EDP). USAID BEST’s assistance to Jordan Heritage in As-Salt will expand tourist offerings, create opportunities for women and youth, and continue to develop the city as an attractive tourist destination in Jordan.