Saturday 30th April 2011, The Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association (JITOA) held its Ordinary General Assembly meeting 2010-2011, in the Holiday Inn Amman Hotel, celebrating great achievements in several projects accomplished for enhancing the future of inbound tourism to Jordan.
The Assembly included the discussion of the Annual Report submitted by the Board of Directors on the activities and achievements during the year 2010 and 2011, and the re-election of the auditor and the financial accountant. Also it included a review of the chartered auditor report and discussion of the financial report as well as ratifying the final statement of account for the ending year of 2010 and approval of the draft budget for the new fiscal year 2011.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Mohammad Samih, the association’s chairman, with the presence of JITOA Board of Directors, and JITOA CEO and staff team, in addition to JITOA members to date and the legal financial auditor of the Association. The Holiday Inn Amman hotel sponsored JITOA GA meeting for this year as a generous gesture to host JITOA members of top inbound tour operators and Jordan tourism professionals from top management personnel covering all segments of the sector.
JITOA members this year reached approximately 70 members with an increase in membership base by 11.5% from last year, while contributing to more than %80 of the packaged tours coming to Jordan, representing a high capacity that covers 75 offices/branches with more than 5000 employees.
The Assembly approved the Board of Director’s Annual Report 2010, and future plans in a presentation review of last year completed projects and sustainable initiatives. Mr. Samih commented upon submitting the annual report “JITOA has been empowered by the great efforts of its valued membership and sustainable projects. We are eager to get ready to add many more achievements to our already accomplished success in Jordan Tourism sector to date.”
During the year 2010-2011 JITOA launched a number of projects and was able to achieve remarkable progress in different areas, and have accomplished many quantifiable results. JITOA initiated different activities in an aim to develop and bring more opportunities to the inbound tourism industry. Last year JITOA introduced Jordan travel market with the Professional Indemnity and Public Liability (PI&PL) insurance coverage to become a mandatory requirement for members as a mark of excellence and to assure providing high standard services to tourists following the international practices. Another benchmark in product development was launching the first “VolunTourism Project” Jordan to build this international trend as a new niche market in Jordan that will be extended in a second phase project in 2011.
In 2011, JITOA presented Jordan in Istanbul at the 15th East Mediterranean International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (EMITT 2011) in its first international participation for promoting Jordan, this participation came as part of JITOA’s efforts to support its members in marketing and promoting their products and activities and highlight Jordan as a tourism destination in the international market. Moreover, JITOA continued its advocacy issues for different long term and short term industry challenges with building solid partnerships locally and internationally while maintaining good relations and ongoing communication with relevant authorities.
The meeting included a review of some of the success stories in different projects, such as the activities held under JITOA tourism environmental initiative, “Don’t mess with Nature”, with growing efforts every year, and this year it was crowned in launching “Jerash Adoption Program” a unique idea to adopt one of the kingdom’s treasures and undertake various activities to preserve the site and improve its infrastructure, as well as raising public awareness and creating a community of supporters of the cause. Furthermore, JITOA continued its contributions to building the human resources capacity in the sector via offering professional and exclusive certifications from the George Washington University – School of Business to the industry utilizing local expertise to further develop the level of tourism business in Jordan, in addition to creating customized training programs to the different staff levels and jobs for teaching basic and advanced levels in the tourism and hospitality skills. Thereby, JITOA signed an MOU with the Tourist Police Department in a cooperation agreement to improve the services provided to tourists and help enhance their qualifications specifically in English language speaking skills.
In the closing, the Board reassured members of JITOA commitment to raising the standards of the tourism industry by undertaking all possible opportunities, with great and ambitious plans to be followed the upcoming years in order to provide services that meet and exceed the sector’s needs and expectations. The board assured members that JITOA will work to facilitate an open and constructive dialogue with the government, also to introduce new information and business tools to keep its members up-to-date and informed for the latest trends and developments in the world of business.