Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Students of the Ammon Applied University College learn about tourism career opportunities

16 Jul 2019

As part of USAID BEST efforts to increase the number of tourism ventures in Jordan and to support the growth and sustainability of existing tourism start-ups, a career planning and entrepreneurship session was held for students of the Ammon Applied University College. USAID BEST implemented the session in partnership with the Development and Employment Fund, Jordan Investment Commission, Microfund for Women and Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.  

“The session was a good occasion to broaden our students’ awareness of the sector and the opportunities within it,” said Doctor Muhsen Makhamreh, Dean of Ammon College. He added “There were a number of experts speaking today, identifying more than 6,000 job opportunities but also presenting available investment and incentives programs. I would hope that we repeat the session in the future for our other students.” 

Around 40 students attended the session, which gave a broad overview of the tourism sector in Jordan, available investment incentives and existing lending programs for projects and startups. This information helped students learn about the options and opportunities available to them to open their own businesses.

“We wanted to tell them about the services the ministry offers to entrepreneurs, starting from the business license and onwards,” said Nadia Al-Qudah, an Investment Specialist with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.  She explained, “We wanted them to think more about what they can do or work as in the tourism sector. Whether it’s the ministry, the Jordan Investment Commission or the finance programs, we all want to support them to start their businesses.”

The session also covered next steps for graduates in terms of career planning, creating awareness among attendees of what they can aspire to in terms of career progression. The students were advised to ensure career goals were attainable, measurable in terms of milestones and progress, relevant to their overall aspirations. The students also learned important skills and information such as how to write a CV and cover letter, expectations of employers, how interviews are conducted, and the pros and cons of working in short-term jobs or traveling abroad for work.

“The industry topics presented were ones we didn’t know of and useful if looking to open businesses,” said attending student Zachariah Katoot. He added, “As someone who’s looking to enter the hotel sector as an employee, the detail provided on the tourism sector’s current labor gap and needs was invaluable. Having ambitions is one thing, but it’s important to develop those ambitions as well.”   

USAID BEST will continue to partner with hospitality and tourism universities around Jordan to encourage upcoming and recent graduates to create tourism ventures that interest them and give them the tools to do so.