As more Canadians consider Jordan for their next adventure abroad, G Adventures is highlighting the destination for its travel advisor partners. Not only is it a great option as a Middle East alternative if clients are hesitant about Egypt, there are varied options – from desert experiences in Wadi Rum to historic and iconic landmarks like Petra and Jerash; from trekking in Aijloun and Dana Biosphere Reserve to snorkelling and diving in Aqaba and the Red Sea. So, how do you go about selling it? We asked the experts for insider insight.
UNDERSTAND THE DESTINATION & G ADVENTURES’ OFFERINGS.
- The best way to describe Jordan is that it’s a peaceful and stable country, according to Sofia Montezo, product manager - Europe & Middle East, G Adventures. Jordan has held a strong neutral, noninterventionist foreign policy which remains peaceful despite the violence taking place in its neighbouring countries. The locals are welcoming and go above and beyond to make tourists feel safe in their country.
- Petra will lure people in, but highlighting the rest of what Jordan has to offer will close the deal – Wadi Rum Desert, Red Sea blue waters and snorkelling, floating in the Dead Sea, visiting ancient ruins of Jerash and Karak, and the modernity and nightlife of Amman.
THEN, YOU CAN IDENTIFY THE CLIENT.
A desire to visit Petra is one of the main reasons why travellers choose to visit Jordan. Whether they are history enthusiasts or just curious, there is a wide range of travellers who have Petra on their bucket list. Plus, those interested in learning about new cultures will choose Jordan for Wadi Rum and interacting with the Bedouin people.
Often travellers who have visited Morocco or other Middle Eastern destinations with G Adventures are more likely to choose Jordan for their next trip. “This could be related to the fact that once you go to these parts of the world and see how welcoming and hospitable they are, you are hooked and want to keep exploring,” Montezo says.
Jordan is appealing to active travellers because of the great hiking in Aijloun, or near Petra.
Those interested in great food and nightlife will choose Jordan for Amman.
KNOW HOW TO UPSELL.
G Adventures offers a variety of optional activities including a hot air balloon ride in Wadi Rum to watch the sun rise over the mountains and an Aqaba boat trip with opportunities to snorkel and mud baths in Amman. “Clients with more time can consider a combo trip that pairs Jordan with Egypt and Israel,” Montezo suggests.
When it comes to a destination like Jordan, no doubt your clients will have a lot of questions before making the commitment. Ayman Khattab, chief experience officer in Jordan for G Adventures, tells us about common questions he often receives from guests on the ground, and how he responds so you can anticipate your clients’ needs.
“IS JORDAN SAFE?”
Jordan is very safe. The people truly respect and love the royal family which is evident by all the portraits of them in restaurants and stores. They are not compelled by the government to put them up, the people do it themselves! There is cohesion in the country where 65 per cent are of Palestinian and 20 per cent of Bedouin origin, but all call themselves Jordanian. There is tolerance and acceptance for non-Muslim religions where even all the stores are closed on Christmas.
“WHY IS JORDAN MORE LIBERAL THAN OTHER MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRIES?”
Jordan is more liberal than other Middle Eastern countries because of neutral Islam in the country and because of the education system. English is taught at an early age in school and spoken by a majority of the country, surprisingly even more so than some European countries. Queen Rania of Jordan has publically spoken about how it should be a woman’s choice if they want to wear a headscarf and should not be dictated by the government.
“HOW IS JORDAN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH ITS NEIGHBOURS SUCH AS ISRAEL?”
Jordan is often thought of as the Switzerland of the Middle East. Despite being surrounded by Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Israel, Jordan has good relationships with all of its neighbours. Jordan signed a peace agreement with Israel 20 years ago and has open borders where people can travel by car or direct flights.