Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

SME owners and investors acquire essential skills to run their tourism businesses

31 Dec 2018

An SME business planning and financial management workshop took place in Petra in December, the fourth conducted in Year 3 as part of a training program launched by USAID BEST in August. The program aims to provide guidance on developing new tourism ventures, enhancing existing businesses and accessing sources of financing.

The three-day session was attended by business owners and investors based in and outside of Petra.

One of the participants was Yazeed Shamaseen, a resident of Petra. “I signed up for this workshop because I have a project in mind that is a bit different in the Middle East. I want to develop this idea of opening a camp site. I also want to look for funding programs because it’s a costly venture.” He added, “I benefited from this session a lot. It introduced a lot of new concepts that can help me in the future.”

Another attendee is Fadi Helalat, who runs an eco-friendly bed and breakfast business in Petra. “I want to expand my project and open an eco-lodge with 15 chalets. I have the land, but I need to do business studies, planning and find funding.” He added, “This session offered a lot of things that will help me, from how to make a business plan to conducting a visibility study, to ensure 100% that I don’t fail in the future. It also showed me how to find funding opportunities.”

This session came as part of BEST support to the Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority. In total, the four sessions organized in Year 3 were attended by 87 tourism entrepreneurs and business operators, bringing the total number from all training sessions for SMEs to 295, which exceeds the original target of 145.