Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

New Islamic financing program to stimulate investment in tourism

1 Oct 2019

USAID BEST, in partnership with the Safwa Islamic Bank and Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority, held an awareness session for tourism investors in Petra to present Safwa’s new Islamic tourism financing program.

The new program offers financing for small and medium-sized tourism businesses, with the aim of stimulating the tourism sector in Jordan and increasing employment opportunities for youth in the sector. To cover the diverse inputs in any potential tourism project, the bank will offer two products for tourism financing: Murabaha and Ijara. Both products are capped at a maximum of JD 250,000, with a grace period of up to 12 months, and a repayment period of a maximum of 60 months. Both products will finance up to 80% of a total project’s cost, and start at a return of 3.5%.  

The event in Petra covered tourism expectations in Petra as well as the services provided by the Petra Development Tourism Regional Authority for the establishment and development of tourism projects, including incentives for tourism investors.

According to Dr. Sulaiman Al-Farajat, Commissioner of the PDTRA, “Such programs will help investors find suitable financing for setting up their businesses. Petra is witnessing high visitor numbers and investments in the tourism sector, mostly in hotels, as the area needs more hotel rooms to accommodate the increase in visitors.”

USAID BEST’s support in Petra has been to enhance the tourism experience in Petra and help diversify its limited tourism products and experiences. One of Jordan’s main tourist sites, Petra visitors reached an 8-year high in 2019, with entrepreneur and visitor interest remaining high in its potential offerings.