SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Tourism Cares, the Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association and Jordan Tourism Board North America announced a new partnership that will bring tourism leaders to Jordan to support the country’s communities and cultural heritage. The announcement came at the United States Tour Operators Association Conference and Marketplace in December.
Called Tourism Cares With Jordan, the effort will include a multinational delegation of travel executives and corporate social responsibility leaders traveling to the country in early 2018. The trip will consist of visits with tourism-based social enterprises to help spur job creation, a volunteer project designed to connect with and help preserve Jordan’s cultural heritage, a corporate social responsibility seminar with thought leaders in the field, and collaboration with Jordanian tourism officials to help create sustainable development and philanthropic infrastructure in the local tourism community.
“We want to figure out how best to help Jordan,” Mike Rea, CEO of Tourism Cares, told The Group Travel Leader. “So we’re going to do some joint investments. We’re going to focus on social enterprises that do goods and services related to tourism. I want travel leaders to have a conversation about who’s doing what, best practices and how to do something new.”
Malia Asfour, director of the Jordan Tourism Board North America, said the partnership will help boost local tourism industries in Jordan and help teach stakeholders about the importance of corporate social responsibility.
“My hope is to help Jordanian people think about corporate social responsibility,” she said. “It’s already a big conversation. Building awareness by doing it with an organization that has shown how it works and brings expertise is going to be a huge benefit.”
Though dates and details on the program are still in the works, both organizations hope that it will serve as a jumping-off point for larger efforts.
“The bigger idea is to find other partnerships around the world with like-minded organizations and causes,” Rea said. “We see this as the first step in creating a network of groups that engage their communities in giving back.”