Building on the economic momentum generated by Jordan’s growing tourism sector over recent years, SCHEP also worked to support local actors seeking to develop their own enterprises to manage and benefit from their cultural heritage. By 2018, SCHEP had supported the establishment of four local Micro & Small Enterprises (MSEs) to manage cultural heritage resources and develop tourism products and experiences, attracting new visitors and providing income and employment opportunities for the local community. In Aqaba, Busayra, Ghawr as Safi, and Umm al Jimal, partners and site stewards are now leading their own initiatives and continuing the work that SCHEP started. By connecting cultural heritage to real economic opportunity, SCHEP is able to achieve more significant and sustainable engagement with local communities, enabling them to become partners in preservation.
Supporting the establishment of local companies is not the only way SCHEP has worked to achieve sustainable growth in tourism at its nine affiliated sites and to ensure that they are included on the national tourism map. The team has also worked with organizations like the Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association (JITOA) and the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) to introduce tour operators to the lesser-known sites and produce materials that introduce curious potential visitors to what they have to offer. The project also offered trainings and workshops on site promotion, offering local stakeholders the knowledge and skills they need to turn their local sites into national and international destinations.
Images by: AbedalFatah Ghareeb, Nizar Al Adarbeh, Barbara A. Porter, Sofia Smith