Jordan: Up Close & Personal

Mar 12, 2024 12:41:08 PM

Malia Asfour

Editor's note: This blog is a recap of a Jordan Tourism Board mission trip to Jordan this past February. 

I recently returned from an extraordinary 10-day journey to Jordan with my JTBNA team and a fantastic group of travel leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Unlike our usual trips, this one was carefully curated, offering invaluable insights into the Jordan of today amid ongoing conflicts in neighboring regions.


(Photo courtesy: Birchbark Media)

Our multidimensional expedition yielded numerous rewards. Our team embraced new products and experiences, fostering team bonding. Returning guests savored Jordan's evolving tranquility and enhanced tourism offerings, while first-timers explored iconic places like Jerash, Petra, and the Dead Sea, immersing themselves in Jordan's warm hospitality and rich history.


(Photo courtesy: Birchbark Media)

The dynamics of our diverse group led to a willingness to explore new things, extending beyond the usual tourist spots to visit social enterprises along the Meaningful Travel Map, showcasing Jordan's leadership in community-based tourism.

Jordan's historical sites and archaeological wonders continue to captivate visitors, as exemplified by the awe-inspiring desert castles and the unexpected greenery of the Northern forests. Our promise to participants included interactions with locals in various villages, revealing the positive impact of the Meaningful Travel Map of Jordan initiative planted in February 2018 with Tourism Cares, which has led to the growth of social enterprises like Bani Hamida, empowering women and fostering economic stability.


(Photo courtesy: Birchbark Media)

Our visit to Dar Al Na’emeh, a nonprofit helping orphaned women transition to independence, resulted in valuable connections with Jordan's Marriott Group, creating opportunities for employment and careers in hospitality.

Amid reminders of conflict, poignant encounters with young survivors at Mount Nebo reinforced the importance of sharing Jordan's story. Their resilience and the commitment of Jordanians to providing a peaceful sanctuary became even more evident. I implore you to consider bringing your visitors back to Jordan, knowing that their presence supports communities in need, empowers women, alleviates child poverty, and contributes to making tourism a force for good.

Reflecting on our group, I am in awe of their trust and grateful to my team for an incredible journey of hospitality, faith, connection, and love.

Malia Asfour

Written by Malia Asfour

Malia Asfour, managing director of the Jordan Tourism Board North America (JTBNA), began handling tourism for the Jordanian government in the U.S. as tourism attaché in Washington in 1995. She was a key participant in creating the country’s first tourism office in North America, which was launched in 1997. She is very passionate about sustainable tourism and helped in the creation of the Meaningful Travel Map of Jordan. Malia currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors Tourism Cares; member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s (ATTA) Board of Directors; TCS World Travel Innovation Board; USTOA’s Destination for Destination Co-Chair and serves on The Destination Task Force Board.

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