Middle East

Member Press Releases     certificates

17 Local Guides Certified to Lead Bird Watching Tours, Boost Nature Tourism

June 9, 2014

Amman – Seventeen tour guides graduated today from Jordan’s first Certified Bird Watching Training Course as specialized bird-watching guides.  This certification will enable them to lead groups of international birdwatchers on tours around Jordan’s important bird areas. The training initiative offered by Baraka Consulting for Sustainable Tourism Development, was supported by USAID Economic Growth Through Sustainable Tourism Project, and is done in partnership and with the support of the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature (RSCN), BirdLife International, United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), Tourism Board and was endorsed by Ministry of Tourism. H.E. Prof. Nidal Katamin, Minister of Labor, and Minister of Tourism said, “Capacity building is one of the foundations of tourism development and the creation of jobs in the tourism industry in Jordan. We are happy to support specialized trainings as the Birwatching training and encourage more specialization among Jordan’s... Read More →

Member Press Releases     153

Authentic Location of Baptism of Jesus Draws Pope Francis and More Pilgrims to Jordan; Site Reframes Map of Holy Land

June 2, 2014

Latin Patriarch Invites Christians to Discover Roots at Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan; Americans Lead Growing Number of Worldwide Visitors to Baptism Site in Jordan McLean, VA – When Pope Francis visited Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan May 24 on his “pilgrimage of prayer” to the Holy Land, he was the latest pilgrim to follow the words of the Bible and the footsteps of early Christians to the wilderness on the eastern banks of the Jordan River that has been called the birthplace of Christianity. “The place where we are meeting commemorates Jesus’ baptism,” the pope told an assembly at the Church of the Baptism of Jesus (of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem). “Coming here to the Jordan to be baptized by John, Jesus showed his humility and his participation in our human condition.” With these words, Pope Francis became the most well-known modern pilgrim to a place that visitors of all faiths from around the world have been flocking to in increasing numbers,... Read More →

Member Press Releases     Monthly Newsletter     50 Tours of a Lifetime - Engaging Cultures Travel

Jordan Tour Receives Top Honor – Engaging Cultures Travel

April 14, 2014

Engaging Cultures Travel’s ’Jordan Insider‘ tour has been selected as one of National Geographic Travelers magazine’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime of 2014. “We are thrilled and honored to be included for the first time on this prestigious list,” says Jon Killpack, Engaging Cultures Travel’s co-founder.  “We continue to be radically changed by interacting deeply with real people from a dramatically different culture than our own.  That is what we want others to experience when they travel with us.  Not just to tick a new country off their bucket list, but to start to see the world with new eyes. Have a paradigm shift over a cup of tea.” New for 2014, the ten-day Jordan tour was crafted so that guests get to steep in the culture and not be rushed around from site to site.  It is a ten day tour consisting of 3 days in 3 different locations.  Each day guests will find themselves having authentic cultural experiences; spending enough time with their hosts to truly bond. We... Read More →

Monthly Newsletter     Notes from The Field     Protesters in Alexandria. Photo courtesy of Manal Kelig.

Reflections from Cairo – ATTA Executive Director of MENA, Manal Saad Kelig

July 18, 2013

Editor’s Note: This ‘Note from the Field’ is authored by Manal S. Kelig, the ATTA Executive Director of Middle East & North Africa, and co- founder of Gateway To Egypt and Great Wonders of Egypt. The ATTA requested her insights so that we could share with AdventureTravelNews readers some perspective on the ground from a tourism expert experiencing first hand the current situation in Egypt.  Protesters in Alexandria. Photo courtesy of Manal Kelig. In the past weeks, the level of misinformation and mixed coverage of the events in Egypt on the global and national levels has overwhelmed me. I have been approached by media and spectators from both sides of the political divide in Egypt and I have spent hours trying to filter the truth from the real scene and offer clarifications on details from misleading sources from both sides. Neutral observers call the events of June 30th a Coup, and they do not approve of what over 22 millions Egyptians have been saying –... Read More →

Notes from The Field     Colunbia Sportswear & Jordan Tourism crew at Jerash

ATTA Etches ‘Triple Win’ for Partners in ‘Brand FAM’

June 19, 2013

A Tri-Partner FAM experiment aims to bring multiple wins to all involved Notes from the Field by Kristen Gill, award-winning travel writer & photographer. Having spent some time lately in the Middle East, she now prefers camels to cars.   The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) recently facilitated a joint partnership between Columbia Sportswear and the Jordan Tourism Board which resulted in The Jordan Expedition, a challenging 10 day itinerary in May which hosted select members of outdoor media to test out Columbia’s new line of gear and to learn about adventure travel opportunities in the destination. Their joint goal was to provide fresh and exciting content for journalists, leading to visually rich media hits online, enhanced relationships and more personalized social reviews. Janine Jervis, Marketing and Communications Manager for Jordan Tourism Board, North America, worked closely with Andy Nordhoff, Public Relations Manager for Columbia Sportswear, to plan an... Read More →

By the Numbers    

Spain, France, Australia & Cuba Arrivals Strong; Egypt & Greece Continue to be Popular

February 19, 2013

Outbound British visitors continue to favor European destinations, with Spain in the lead, and are making the most of decreased airfares to America, giving the U.S. a small inbound boost. The British also remain interested in Greek and Egyptian holidays, despite the bumpy fiscal and political environments in those destinations. Meanwhile, Australian inbound tourism has been buoyed by a 14 percent increase in overseas visitation from China since November 2012. The bump is due to increased flight routes and capacity to Shanghai, illustrating the power that infrastructure towards inbound Chinese tourism can make. China now represents Australia’s third largest market, after New Zealand and the United Kingdom. While shifting their destination marketing to online channels and putting more funds toward marketing to Asia, authorities in Australia stated they plan to maintain a “balanced” marketing plan, including improvements in marketing towards the youth market, which... Read More →

Spotlight: Destinations     Photo:  Some rights reserved by S J Pinkney / Flickr

Domestic Tourism Keeping Egypt’s Industry Afloat; Radicals Threaten Antiquities

December 5, 2012

Photo: Some rights reserved by S J Pinkney / Flickr According to a recent Reuters article on Al Arabiya News, before the Arab spring events of early 2011, more than 10 percent of Egypt’s GDP came from the tourism industry. Civil unrest has remained sporadic, resulting in little to no rebound in the almost 4.7 million international visitor decrease since the political stress began. However, domestic tourism has recently been a more reliable source of income – while domestic tourists spend less overall, they’re traveling in greater numbers due to higher flight costs internationally and struggles to get foreign visas. Local industry operators were quoted in the article with debating viewpoints on which type of tourist is better for the industry, but the consensus was that local travelers are providing a necessary lifeline while international tourists stay away. Meanwhile, even as the Egyptian Tourist Association is striving to bring back foreign tourists, another article... Read More →

Spotlight: Destinations     Screen shot 2012-11-14 at 4.21.21 PM

Jordan’s Surprise Luxury Tourism Trend

November 14, 2012

Despite the recent regional turbulence of the Arab Spring, Jordan has seen increases in its luxury travel market in the last two years, according to a recent Forbes.com article by Joseph Reaney. Reaney asserts that both private and government forces are working in concert to boost this sector of tourism while downplaying “mass appeal” “Jordan doesn’t wish to be a volume-driven attraction like Egypt,” says Sean Cullen, director of sales and marketing at Mövenpick Resort Petra, a luxury resort located near the entrance of Petra. “It’s an exclusive destination. The current visitor profile is over 40, financially sound, widely traveled, interested in history and culture, and seeking out a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Multiple high-end multi-national hotel and transportation chains have been increasing their development in Jordan, and the government has supported both luxury and ecotourism expansion via financing and legislation: More than $30 million has been... Read More →

Spotlight: Destinations     Screen shot 2011-12-13 at 3.16.54 PM

UAE Looks to Gain Major Boost as Global Tour Operators Look to Off-set Losses from ‘Arab Spring’ Movements

December 13, 2011

Thomas Cook, Europe’s second-largest tour operator, will bolster its tour offerings to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2012 to try and offset almost £20m in losses after it had to cancel trips to Egypt and Tunisia in response to the unrest caused by the Arab Spring – a move likely to be echoed by other major industry players, according to an article by Shane McGinley in ArabianBusiness.com. Egypt alone had previously accounted for seven percent of Thomas Cook’s profit, and the company had to obtain a rescue loan due to assisting vacationers affected by the events. McGinley elaborated on the toll in the region: The Arab Spring has taken a toll on tourism in cash-strapped nations from Jordan and Egypt to Morocco and Tunisia, costing the region more than $7bn, according to the Arab Tourism Organization in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia… Tourist arrivals to the Middle East are predicted to fall six percent across 2011 due to the impact of regional political unrest, the World Travel... Read More →

Spotlight: Destinations     images

Middle Eastern Travel Growing Stronger, IATA Reports

October 11, 2011

Assistant Editor’s Note: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has issued a report around the growth of Middle Eastern aviation market share, published here as it is of interest to our members in terms of global travel trends and shifts. Investment in Middle East infrastructure has proved a wise decision, with the region’s global aviation market share growing from 4% to 11% in the past decade. That figure is likely to rise given that the region is spending some $200 billion on new aircraft in the next 15 years. About $100 billion has been committed to airport expansion. Dubai has become the figurehead for the region’s progress. Aside from Dubai International, the emirate has opened Dubai World Central, which will become the world’s largest airport, ultimately handling 160 million passengers a year and 12 million tonnes of cargo. “If London Heathrow had a third runway, would we have seen the BA-Iberia merger?” asks Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “We... Read More →

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