Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Jordan Trail continues push towards self-sufficiency

5 Feb 2019

 

Launched in 2016, the Jordan Trail has become a success story for tourism in Jordan. Since its official launch, the Jordan Trail has seen hundreds of international and Jordanian visitors experience the full trail from Umm Qais to Aqaba. 130 families along the trail now benefit from the annual thru-hike, acting as service providers through camps, guides, local hosting, homestays and transportation. The Jordan Trail website now exceed 100K visits per month and downloads of maps and GPS coordinates was at 5,500 while in 2018 the number of expected hikers on the Jordan trail exceeded 40,000 and is expected to rise more by than 50% this year.  As of 2019, the Jordan Trail has secured financial support from Bookings.com, the Royal Court of Jordan and Shiraka, which will go towards capacity-building of the organization, digital support and operations management, and most importantly the maintenance and development of the trail.

Bashir Daoud, CEO of the Jordan Trail Association commented on the continued growth of the trail, remarking that it had become “a success in terms of serving as a tourism attraction and a social economic platform for development and employment in local communities along the trail.” 

The Jordan Trail Association conducts events such as the thru-hike to promote the Jordan Trail, raise funds for the association and create financial opportunities for the people living in the 52 villages and communities along the trail. The 3rd Annual Jordan Trail thru-hike will commence in March 2019, reversing the path taken in previous years by starting in Aqaba and ending in Um Qais in the north of Jordan. As the thru-hike gained more prominence, JTA has undertaken planning of further events to complement the annual March event.

“The Jordan Trail Association is dedicated to growing and developing the trail even further in future years,” noted Mr. Daoud “We have two more annual events being developed for 2019, with the first official Jordan Trail Run for ultra-marathon runners who will complete the entire trail in 12 to 14 days and the Jordan Trail Expedition for mid-level hikers who will finish the trek in 20 to 22 days.”

The Jordan Trail spans 650 kilometers, covering the length of the entire country and passing through its various terrains. JTA is committed to developing, maintaining, and promoting the Jordan Trail as Jordan’s number one adventure tourism attraction in addition to creating a sustainable platform for socioeconomic development for the 52 villages along the trail. In 2018, the JTA received the King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein Order for Distinction of the Second Degree and was awarded the 2018 World Tourism Award at the World Tourism Market in London in recognition of their outstanding initiative for sustainable tourism and developing programs that give back to communities.

BEST support of the JTA began in 2015 during its startup phase, including the development of the trail in stages, encompassing GPS coordination, content creation and waymarking, as well as capacity building, training and technical support for community members, guides and association employees. BEST has also supported the execution of the thru-hike event in 2018 and 2019 and the development of service standards across the trail.

Going into 2019, BEST will continue to support the institutional sustainability of the Jordan Trail Association and its marketing and promotional efforts for the Jordan Trail.  

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