AMMAN, Jordan – To help travel and tourism industry professionals in Jordan develop successful marketing programs based on examined market demands, trends, and opportunities, the USAID/Jordan Tourism Development Project and the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) launched a series of workshops on Sunday, October 31 entitled “Know your Market to Grow your Market.”
“The UK is the world’s largest outbound tourism market in both volume and value, and it is Jordan’s most important European market and second only to the US worldwide. Yet Jordan’s market penetration is slightly less than 0.16 percent of all UK outbound travel,” said HE Suzanne Afanah, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. She explained, “A continued growth in trips to Jordan will depend on sustaining interest in the destination as a viable price-competitive and fashionable destination.”
“From January to September, Jordan welcomed over 73,000 British visitors representing a 24 percent increase from last year,” said Nayef H. Al Fayiz, director of JTB, “Our aim for the upcoming years is to maintain and develop our current mature markets and attract new emerging markets. With the launch of the series of workshops we are very positive that this will better educate our trade in understanding the markets which will lead to an increase in visitors.”
“An important part of developing Jordan’s tourism sector is to put in place effective marketing strategies to attract visitors from target markets to the country,” said Mr. Ibrahim Osta, USAID/Jordan Tourism Development Project chief of party. “The Know Your Market series will give the tourism industry an in-depth understanding of specific markets around the world that are already target markets for Jordan and in particular the segments that offer the highest potential for Jordan in order to attract more tourists, extend length of stay, diminish seasonality, and increase income from tourism.”
Each of the workshops will focus on one of ten market countries where the JTB has a representative office. These are USA, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, India, Netherlands, and Russia. Today’s workshop, the first in the series, presented the industry with detailed information and statistics on the UK travel market. International experts in the UK travel market were present to give Jordan’s travel industry some insight into the UK market and market segments that offer the best potential for Jordan. This information will help the industry design market-specific programs, engage trade, and attract and close UK travel business online. It will also help Jordan plan and develop marketing tools that are more effective in reaching the UK tourist market, in preparation for participation in the international tourism trade show, World Travel Mart (WTM), which will take place in London next month. These efforts will ultimately help grow the number of visitors to Jordan from the UK and increase business and sales.
During the workshop, a brief was given on tourism market profiles for some of the countries included in this series to give an idea of the content of upcoming workshops. The market profiles were developed by the USAID tourism project and the JTB. The workshop series is planned to take place over the next few months.
In 2009, UK visitors to Jordan were ranked third among European arrivals. Interestingly, the total number of UK visitors has increased by 58 percent over the last 5 years. This number has the potential for growth if Jordan’s travel industry improves interest in Jordan as a destination by best matching market trends and demands with marketing plans and tourism offerings.
ABOUT USAID/JORDAN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The five-year project (2008-2013) works with government, private sector, civil society, and local communities to support the development and increase competitiveness of Jordan’s tourism sector by diversifying and improving tourism services and products throughout Jordan, support cutting-edge international tourism marketing, and improved job skills and employment in the sector. The project also supports preservation of the kingdom’s historic and natural treasures and maximizing economic opportunities from tourism for Jordanians.