Five Jordanian cities compete to be Kingdom's first Distinctive Destination

Five Jordanian cities, Karak, Salt, Jerash, Ajloun and Madaba, are competing for the title of “Distinctive Destination” under a new program launched by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) and the USAID Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project (BEST). The Distinctive Destinations Program will enrich visitor experiences in Jordan by enhancing and promoting the specific assets of each destination and providing the kind of local and authentic experiences that are in demand, from food to handcrafts to participation in cultural events.

This approach to a sustainable development of tourism will be rooted in the heritage and culture of each town and enable Jordan to strengthen its tourism economy to create jobs. Each destination’s municipality is responsible for working with a Local Tourism Development Committee from the private sector to compete for selection as Jordan’s first Distinctive Destination. A National Program Committee will judge the process and one destination will secure the unique title of ‘Distinctive Destination’ for 2016.

During the launch of the project in June, H.E. Lina Annab, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, said, “Through the Distinctive Destinations Program we seek to encourage Jordanian towns to capitalize on their core strengths, unique characteristics and assets to improve their tourism offerings. Communities can take pride in their towns and work together to activate an entrepreneurial spirit that will drive tourism development.”

USAID Economic Development and Energy Office Director Russell Bauer said, “By helping the participating cities enhance their services and offer new and improved attractions, we will increase the number of tourists and their spending will contribute to creating jobs and enhancing local economies.”

USAID BEST, MoTA and partners will provide the winning destination with technical expertise to develop a detailed and holistic tourism strategy. USAID BEST will also support the development of tourism small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and provide destination marketing support.