Jordan’s hiking and diving industry has grown dramatically in the past decade and is gaining more and more popularity every year. Hiking is known to regularly attract expatriates and local Jordanians, while climbing is more popular among international tourists due to Jordan’s beautiful nature and award-winning climbing sites. However, the industry currently lacks proper structure, especially in terms of policy as there are no current implications on informal hiking groups or laws that govern on-site management, and all sites are controlled by multiple parties rather than one.
USAID LENS Work
USAID LENS realizes that the industry has a huge potential for growth if there is proper implementation of policies, regulations and protocols. By instituting such laws and policies, informal groups or companies will be required to register, thereby contributing to Jordan’s formal economy. In addition, different aspects of group trips (size, safety, etc.), will be better regulated. In order for that to be achieved, an association needs to be established to improve coordination and linkages between companies and stakeholders in the hiking and climbing industry.
In collaboration with the hiking and climbing industry, USAID LENS is working towards the creation of an association that will help manage Jordan’s canyons and sites, and provide organizational support and recommendations for the carrying capacity of the country’s canyons. The project will assist the association to formally apply to become the representative to the Union of International Alpine Associations (UIAA), which in turn will allow Jordan to become a primary destination for adventure travelers who can receive the necessary safety and security support and become internationally insured. This will in turn help hiking and climbing companies to develop and grow.
The project aims to achieve the following in order to develop the hiking and climbing industry in the kingdom:
- Provide training workshops for MSEs on marketing and other aspects of business management.
- Train local guides to become more skilled and qualified.
- Develop communal policy working papers.
- Introduce new hiking and climbing packages.
- Form collaborations with providers of other products and services to offer an added value, such as offering home-cooked meals at the end of hikes or climbs.
Performed field assessments of key canyons in the country in order to identify associated risks and opportunities that can be addressed through the intervention of USAID LENS.
Holding a series of regular meetings with key stakeholders in the hiking and climbing industry, the majority of whom are MSEs, in order to discuss and plan out a possible structure for the Jordan Mountaineering Association.
- Published a comprehensive report in May 2017 that is the first of its kind in Jordan assessing the mountaineering sector and outlining the way forward for the sector to grow and thrive. Read the report here
USAID LENS published the Experiential Tourism Toolkit
in May 2018 to be a functional and usable tool for any tourism-related party interested in identifying and marketing local and remote experiences.
Take a look at our adventure tourism brochure