Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Enterprise Development Program to spur tourism businesses in the city

2 Aug 2017

Enterprise Development Program to spur tourism businesses in the city

“I had a project named Foreign Adventures, which ended because we did not have enough money. With EDP I am hoping to start it up again,” said Ahmad Khleifat from As-Salt, when he attended the launch of the Enterprise Development Program (EDP) held in the city earlier this month.

The yearlong As-Salt Enterprise Development Program is a key part of work to transform As-Salt into Jordan’s first ‘Distinctive Destination’ after the city earned the accolade following a competitive process that concluded at the start of this year. The program offers a package of training, USAID grant funding, technical support and improved access to finance to tourism businesses and entrepreneurs in As-Salt to spur tourism activity through new and improved services, facilities experiences for visitors. EDP is being implemented by USAID BEST in coordination with As-Salt Development Corporation (SDC) and in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and As-Salt Municipality.

As Mr. Khleifat explained, “We offer excursions to tourist sites in As-Salt and Jal’ad where there are many natural and beautiful places. During the EDP launch, they showed interest in supporting adventure tours like the ones my project offers, which often do not get much attention.”

Mr. Khleifat and other applicants will be evaluated for receiving EDP support based on criteria that includes the number of jobs created by the project and to what degree it promotes local culture and heritage.

Asmaa Washah also attended the EDP launch and is eager to apply for support. She recently began her home-business producing natural food items that are preservative0free. Besides husband and sister, Mrs. Washah has five employees making her products and that’s not always enough.

“Sometimes I need more employees to help with the high demand of my products,” said Mrs. Washah.

Mrs. Washah is looking to set up a place where she can sell her products and host healthy eating lifestyle classes for children. She says she would benefit from funding for décor and furniture for her space, adding that, “EDP can guide me in becoming a licensed business with the municipality of As-Salt”

By addressing the basic needs of local small and medium-sized business owners, EDP will work to build a foundation for As-Salt to be established as a reputable tourism destination. EDP will in turn create jobs, thus reducing unemployment, and will help the community of As-Salt to offer memorable experiences to visitors and help draw in larger numbers.