Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Jordan to participate in UK’s largest meetings and events show

20 Jun 2019

The Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association (JITOA), in cooperation with the Jordan Convention Bureau (JCB) and with the support of USAID BEST, will take part in the 2019 Meetings Show in London. Running since 2013, the Meetings Show is the UK’s largest annual meetings and events tradeshow, attracting hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees from the UK and around the world.

Jordan’s participation in the annual tradeshow is a first for the country and its stakeholders. It comes as part of USAID BEST support for the Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association and the MICE industry at large. The delegation that will attend includes representatives from the JCB and JITOA as well as tour operators such as Abercrombie & Kent, Ayla Oasis, Discovery, Global Organizer and Tyche Tours.

“We are participating in this three-day event to help bring attention to Jordan’s MICE industry, and especially to help elevate Aqaba for consideration as a MICE destination,” said Mohammed Alaazab, Commercial Development Manager at Ayla Oasis. 

“We’ve partnered with the Jordan Tourism Board with the support of USAID BEST to promote Jordan as the destination of choice for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE),” said Omar Hazineh, JITOA’s Executive Director. He added, “The MICE segment of the Jordanian economy is underutilized, and we believe that Jordan can get a big chunk of the business in the UK market and other markets featured at the Meetings Show.”

Since its launch in 2017 by the Jordan Tourism Board to support the MICE sector, the Jordan Convention Bureau has made huge strides towards becoming a well-established convention bureau, with the ability to bid for and win regional and international conferences. 

“The Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) sector in Jordan views the UK market as highly important, making our participation in the industry’s largest event a valuable one,” said Luma Khatib, Head of the JCB. She added that Jordan’s participation was being highly promoted by the organizers in both in-show guides and online, exposing the delegation to a variety of potential international buyers.

USAID BEST has supported JITOA since 2016, assisting it to enhance Jordan’s marketing efforts to grow and attract MICE and Biblical tourism and enhance their digital and research capacities, improve their understanding of foreign markets and grow a pool of qualified staff able to successfully implement JITOA’s activities. USAID BEST has also supported the JCB since its establishment in 2017. As a result of this support, JCB was able to set up an industry advisory board and an event support program, develop guidelines and recommendations on bidding for major events and participation in international trade shows, and establish an events and venues guidebook to Jordan for organizations or associations looking to hold events in the country.  

According to rankings recently published by the International Congress and Convention Association for 2018, Jordan ranked second, after the United Arab Emirates, for hosting the most international association meetings in the Middle East. The country hosted 22 international meetings last year, an increase of more than 100% over 2017. Almost all of these meetings were in Amman, which has jumped from hosting a modest 3 international conferences in 2014 to 19 conferences in 2018. The city has seen the fastest growth amongst all cities in the region and is well ahead of contenders Abu Dhabi, Cairo and Dubai.