Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

As-Salt youth learn about tourism through student painting competition

2 Jul 2019

Under the patronage of Her Excellency the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Majd M. Shweikeh, a ceremony was held today to award the winners of the As-Salt Tourism Awareness Painting Competition for school students. The competition is part of a tourism awareness campaign being implemented in As-Salt by the Salt Development Corporation in partnership with the Greater As-Salt Municipality and Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, represented by Balqaa' Tourism Directorate, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Education, with support from the USAID Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism (BEST) project. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the benefits of tourism among the community of As-Salt and encourage efforts to protect the city’s natural environment and cultural heritage and promote careers in tourism to youth.

“This awareness campaign is part of a plan to develop tourism in As-Salt under the Distinctive Destinations Program. The campaign has been successful in raising awareness among the community of the importance of tourism and of As-Salt’s tourism offerings, as well as the significant role the local community plays in tourism. It is also encouraging youth to join this sector, which has great economic benefits,” explained Mr. Khaldoun Arabiyat, Director of As-Salt Development Corporation.

According to Randa Arabiyat, Head of As-Salt Historical Museum (Abu Jaber Museum), “Through this activity, which used art and painting as an interactive teaching method rather than traditional lectures, the students are more aware of the importance of tourism and protecting the city’s heritage.”

A series of tourism awareness art workshops, led by local artists Khaldoun Abu Taleb and Nawzat Al Najdawi, took place over the three months leading up to this event at 17 schools in As-Salt. Around 250 students from grades 7 to 10 took part and 70 paintings were submitted to the competition. A committee of representatives from all involved in the awareness activity, as well as artist Suhail Baqa'een selected 13 winning paintings. Prizes were contributed by Jordan Tourism Board, Zain, Leaders Center, Tawasol, BookAgri and Yaqout Cultural Association.

The As-Salt Tourism Awareness Campaign is being implemented as part of efforts to develop the city’s tourism sector and get the local community involved to ensure residents benefit from tourism. The campaign entails several activities, including a photography competition that took place last October, a city streets clean-up activity that is ongoing, and discussion groups and awareness workshops targeting residents.