LIFE Third CountriesDevelopment of Methods and Tools for the Establishment of Good Environmental Performance in the Tourist Accommodation Sector in Jordan – Implementation of pilot studiesGREEN-TAS Tourism in Jordan Actors and Stakeholders in Jordan Tourism Some Implications Suggested for Achieving Sustainability of Resources and Energy in the Hotels of Jordan
Tourism has been growing around the world as a major source of income and employment to many countries, and Jordan is one of them.
According to information given by Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for the year 2005, it is the Kingdom's largest export sector, its second largest private sector employer, and it's second highest producer of foreign exchange. • Tourism contributes more than US$800 million to Jordan’s economy and accounts for approximately 10 % of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
Tourism has generated 1,021.6 millions in 2005 as an income, which is 8.3% more than the value of 2004, which was 943millions JD. • About 29,394 jobs were offered as a direct employment by tourism sector, which is 24.8% more than the 23,544 jobs offered in 2004; all these numbers show the importance of tourism to the economy of Jordan.
There are some objectives stated by Jordan’s National Tourism Strategy 2004-2010, these can be listed as follows: • Increase tourism receipts from JD570 million in 2003 to 1.3 billion (US$ 1.84 billion) • Increase tourism-supported jobs from 40,791 in 2003 to 91,719, thus creating over 51,000 jobs. • Achieve taxation yield to the government of more than JD455 million (US$637 million)
There are four guiding principles that lead the progress of tourism sector in Jordan: • Understanding that tourism is a prime component of the Jordanian economy. • There is a willingness to diversify tourism attractions, and transforming them from antiquities to that of a general culture base, which is a requirement of new forms of tourism becoming so familiar around the world. • Positive and sustainable conservation of different resources. • Maximizing the complementary nature of both governmental and private sectors.
There are many strengths and opportunities that contribute to the fast growth of tourism sector in Jordan: • The availability (even partially) of infrastructure and potential. • The fact that tourism contributes to a significant amount of the GDP of Jordan. • Tourism has been and is still acting as a major earner of hard currencies and contributes to Government and revenues and the national balance of payments.
The great diversity of natural and cultural resources and destination in Jordan: • Natural Resources: these include areas of significant land/seascapes, these include Aqaba, Wadi Rum and natural reserves spreading in many regions. • Cultural Resources: these include mainly archaeological/historical sites, shopping and galleries, events, and handcrafts. • Therapeutic Resources: these are composed of the Dead Sea and some locations where waterfall and hot springs are found.
Being distributed over a wide range of sites, including urban, rural and remote areas.
Tourism requires a wide variety of professional, technical, craft and operative staff, indicating then a big number of jobs opening and a good source of income for different segments in the society. • Tourism encourages the sustainability of some basic cultural aspects as traditions and handcrafts
The fact that Royal Family of Jordan is well known all over the world, and it has its wide range of international participation, which will eventually give a positive image for the country.
The good climate with high possibility to provide destinations that will fulfill the needs of different markets of visitors all around the year. • The friendly population and their great sense of hospitality.
The high level of security and safety if compared to some other countries in the region, which are severely suffering from political instability. • Although of the small area of the country (89,342 sq.km), it has an acceptable system of transportation facilities. • The availability of many accommodations and facilities types, as restaurants, travel agencies, transportation countries, guiding staff and other services. • The existing of unique and only of their kinds destinations, as Dead Sea, Petra, Jesus Baptism Site, the Mosaic Map of Madaba, and many others. • The availability of health and wellness sites as hot springs and Dead Sea.
There are some main problems and threats regarding tourism development in Jordan • The unawareness by a big segment in the Jordanian society about the importance of tourism and its activities. • The lack of inclusion of Jordan within tour operators’ catalogues; it has been treated as an extension of neighboring countries regarding tour packages and trade. • The lack of facilities in many sites and destinations, and if existed, there is an inadequate distribution of them. • The lack of promotional campaigns and marketing representatives abroad.
The high cost of domestic tourism, especially with the low income of a considerable segment in the Jordanian society. • The weak organizational structure for many frameworks involved in tourism development with lack of funding. • Problems in training staff and employees, especially when it comes to some services and sustainability of resources.
Regarding the growth and progress of tourism in Jordan, some measurements and indicators can be presented here: • Number of Arrivals and Average Length of Stay • The Profiles of Visitors • Numbers of Visitors to Main Destinations • Numbers of Facilities and Services Locations (General Description for Accommodations) • Employees: Numbers and Characteristics • Accommodation Sector in Jordan (More Detailed)
Issues to be Considered • Unfortunately, there is either a decline or a slight increase in visitation by locals in many sites, which reflects the problem of low public awareness about tourism activities and destinations of the country. • Females mainly work at hotels (962 employees), tourists’ restaurants (872 employees) and travel agencies. They were not found in tour guiding service in the records of 2005. Add to this a restricted presence in some services; this can be seen in diving centers (4 employees) and water sports (1 employee only).
Employees working in tourism services are mostly distributed inAmman (22,108 employees), Aqaba (2,316 employees), Petra (1,398 employees), Dead Sea (1,135 employees), and Wadi Rum (962 employees), the rest are distributed over other locations, the same can be said about tourism services (Mainly hotels). • Many locations lack the presence of either the service or its employees, it becomes important then to supply areas with tourism services and to train local people to work in them, which will enhance living quality in these areas . • There is an urging need to provide locals with affordable types of accommodation in different areas.
There is an urging need to provide locals with affordable types of accommodation in different areas. • There is a need to focus on some markets; this can be implemented through increasing promotion representatives over seas in addition to developing web marketing. • There should be more spread of awareness regarding the behavior of visitors in different kinds of destinations, an issue that might significantly affect growth of tourism in them.
Putting overall policies and plans, coordination with different stakeholders regarding institutional, organizational and financial aspects; all are to be conducted by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Transport and Communication.
Transportation and infrastructure construction and maintenance are mainly the responsibility of: • Ministry of Public Works and Housing • Greater Amman Municipality, • Aqaba and Petra Regional Authorities, • Jordan Valley Authority • Municipalities within each governorate, • Ministry of Transport, • Private tourism transport companies, Hijaz and Aqaba Railway Corporations, Aqaba Port Corporation, Arab Bridge Maritime, Civil Aviation Authority and Royal Jordanian.
Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MOTA) • Preserve and develop touristic sites (lands, buildings and mineral water resorts). • License and classify touristic professions. • Facilitate formalities relevant to tourists in cooperation with the competent authorities and touristic organizations inside and outside the Kingdom, and provide them with the recreational and care facilities. • Set up comprehensive and integrated programs for touristic publication and execute and supervise the same, as well as promote the Kingdom in terms of tourism in collaboration with the authorities concerned. • Encourage and organize internal tourism and touristic investment, and observe and organize touristic programs for this purpose to acquaint citizens with the kingdom’s landmarks.
Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MOTA) • Arrange to secure manpower and technical potential required for touristic professions in order to upgrade performance level and efficiency of work in these professions in cooperation with the competent international and local institutions, organizations and bodies. • Prepare studies and researches dedicated for the development and promotion of touristic professions. • Establish colleges and institutions for teaching sciences relevant to tourism in pursuance of the provisions and requirements of the operative higher education law, and organize administrative, financial and other affairs related to these colleges and institution under regulations issued in accordance with the provisions of this law and any other observed laws.
The Department of Antiquities of Jordan (DOA) is the official institutional authority mandated by law to be responsible for the protection, conservation and presentation of antiquities in Jordan.
Jordan Tourism Board • This board was established as a marketing representative on both local and international scales. It aims at achieving the following: • Promoting tourism and increasing its awareness and cooperating with the ministry and other sectors to achieve this goal. • Preparing all interpretation and promotion methods as brochures, movies, and books regarding tourism, as well as distributing and selling them. That is in addition to magazines and bulletins. • Preparing marketing and statistical researches and studies, and applying them by financing them directly or by international and nongovernmental organizations.
Suggesting projects to improve tourism destinations and developing them in Jordan. • Participating in training human labor in tourism business and services. • Establishing a national information center to gather information and data regarding local and international tourism. • Contributing to events and activities related tourism as in the case of festivals and conferences, as well as national events for what relates to the directions and objectives of the board.
The Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association (JITOA) was established in 2003 to enhance the professionalism and profitability of its members through effective representation in tourism industry and government affairs, education and training, and by identifying and meeting the needs of inbound tourism.
Jordan Hotel Association is a non-profit association representing over 400 hotels (Classified and Unclassified) throughout Jordan. The association was established in 1969 and seeks to promote cooperation and good relation among proprietors of the hospitality industry, in addition to assisting members in maintaining a high standard for their establishments to meet international standards.
Jordan Tour Guides Association (JTA): This association was established to supervise and improve the career of tour guiding in Jordan through the training of its members (guides) and providing them with necessary health and social rights and insurances.
There is a number of Jordanian Universities that have established departments of archaeology and tourism, these departments have the role of teaching these fields of science, as well as participating in activities as excavations and museum work, some of them operate archaeological museums on their campuses to display archaeological material, especially what has been found in the excavations they conducted.
The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature is a semi-official body that is responsible for several natural reserves that are scattered over Jordan. • The Royal Scientific Society is a national institution that conducts research and provides services in different technical and business fields; it has both state and private funding. One of its achievements to relate to tourism is the work conducted on the architectural heritage of the city of Salt, which is a great documentation project that aimed getting and saving information regarding this heritage, especially with the great urbanization movement witnessed in the country.
The Natural Resources Authority (NRA): This authority is a department that belongs to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. It has conducted highly technical and geotechnical studies and geological mapping at different locations as Petra and Kerak, there were different standard procedures for environmental and cultural resources impact assessments for feasibility studies and to measure effects of any proposed projects on different resources, this authority has signed a cooperation agreement with the Department of Antiquities for such purposes.