Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

USAID BEST improves service standards at Beit Aziz hotel

14 Oct 2019

Beit Aziz is a quaint hotel and restaurant situated in the hills of As-Salt. The B&B is located in a 19th-century home and is the first boutique hotel in As-Salt’s downtown area. Beit Aziz is one of several grant recipients in the heritage-rich city, where USAID BEST, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Municipality of As-Salt, and Salt Development Corporation (SDC) are working to expand visitor experiences and promote As-Salt as a distinctive tourism destination in Jordan.  

In August and September 2019, USAID BEST implemented training courses for Beit Aziz staff and management to improve service levels at the B&B and enhance the visitor experience. The training covered front-of-house hospitality basics and service, back-of-house kitchen hygiene and presentation, and operations management.  

General Manager of Beit Aziz, Laith Abul Samen, noted that the training sessions were highly productive. He said, “These trainings allowed for detailed solutions to some of the challenges our hospitality staff is experiencing and helped in a variety of areas, including standards and regulations as well as determining what new tools or appliances would improve our work. For example, through the one-on-one training with the head of the kitchen, we decided to purchase a new two-door refrigerator and relocate it from down in the kitchen to up near the serving area. This improved convenience for our staff and reduced the amount of time needed to serve our guests.”

In 2018, Beit Aziz received support to expand reach, elevate service levels, refurbish the space, and provide tourists with experiences relevant to the heritage and culture of As-Salt. Beit Aziz employed 8 people and following its expansion after receiving a USAID BEST grant, and the hotel now employs 14 people. Efforts to increase visitor numbers, revamp tourist experiences, and fulfill plans to make As-Salt a distinctive tourist destination are ongoing.