Courier April/May Courier - Page 19

Keith Sproule visits a Jordan Bike Enterprises site south of the Dead Sea. This Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy project provides bikes to several communities in Jordan, and residents use the bikes for transportation to jobs and to establish guided tour businesses. Jordan, the benefits of an organization need to go into the right hands. Valdez: Sustainability can be tailored to different types of travel and people. You don’t have to go the homestay route. Someone who prefers luxury travel and wants to stay in a resort can also make a positive impact—even if you empower only one person. Sproule: The promise of tourism is still alive and can be realized. During our time in Jordan, all the players have been involved: government representatives, private sector, agencies, community leaders, nonprofits and NGOs (non- governmental organizations). We had a tremendous diversity of international operators and GMs and CEOs. Our ses- sions helped Jordanians figure out how to deliver what buyers want. And they offer the Jordan Trail and The Meaningful Travel Map of Jordan. They’re serious. Meaningful Map Tourism Cares with Jordan delegates joined a Feb. 25 news conference announcing the creation of The Meaningful Travel Map of Jordan, which promotes 12 social enterprises that provide jobs to locals and give tourists hands-on cultural insight. To learn more, go to Stulbaum: You wouldn’t think there are a lot of similarities between Petra and New York City. But talking with Suleiman (Dr. Suleiman Farajat, com- missioner for the Petra Archaeological Park and tourism affairs) about the challenges he faces in building capacity within the local community reminded me of what I deal with in working with the boroughs. Bringing more tourists— and tourism business—into an existing community or neighborhood becomes a real balancing act. Whether it’s ancient Jordan or big-city America, we’re alike in so many ways. Left: At Mosaic House near Madaba, Jordan, local residents (many of them with physical handicaps) are employed as craftspeople. Center: NTA Chair Chris Babb at the Bani Hamida Women’s Weaving Project. Right: Delegates dined on local fare at the Beit Khayrat Souf. The co-op near Jerash also creates jobs for women who grow, package and sell local products, such as jams, spices and oils. 15