Trail tourism makes inroads across Jordan
Jordanian hikers, nature enthusiasts and tourism sector stakeholders are hopeful that the introduction of a new nature trail in Jerash will popularise “trail tourism” within the Kingdom, offering visitors the experience of Jordan’s various landscapes.
Speaking with The Jordan Times, Jordanian traveller and trail hiker Abdel Rahim Arjan said that “trail systems could become a touristic attraction that safeguards a destination’s environment”.
This specific type of tourism attracts tourists to communities situated along the trail, positively impacting the local economy, he added.
Developing and expanding trails — whether long or short — contributes to a stronger eco-tourism movement, which promotes environmental and cultural conservation, young Jordanian hiker Qusai Hani told The Jordan Times.
Hani added that “trails are like platforms that offer unique experiences for their visitors”, that make an area more active and vibrant.
Currently, organised group hikes host between 10 and 15 people, but the construction of a trail would make it easier for outdoor enthusiasts to attend more trips, Hani said.
As part of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ 2021-2025 tourism development plan, the ministry is preparing a new tourist trail in Jerash, that offers all necessary services, such as tour guides, local kitchens and products. The trail in Jerash will start from the Al Safsafa village, wind through Jerash forest, and reach the Al Mirad and Barma villages of Jerash.
“Trails become a reason to visit a certain place, and in Jerash, the trial will start from the Al Safsafa area and stretch along Dibeen Forest Reserve and two other nature reserves,” Yusuf Zreqat, head of the tourism committee in the Jerash Governorate Council, told The Jordan Times. According to Zreqat, the ministry has been preparing for the operation of the trail in Jerash for several months.
The trail project is expected to employ around 30 people, most of whom are from the local community, he said.