In April, the Jordan Tourism Board contracted with The Group Travel Leader Inc., publisher of Going On Faith magazine, to promote and co-sponsor a site inspection tour of Jordan. Publisher Mac Lacy agreed to accompany the group, and through a series of print articles, e-blasts and online newsletters over the following three months, travel planners from across the United States were invited to participate.
Royal Jordanian Airlines provided round-trip flights for participants, and the trip took place October 18-25 with a group of 13 guests including readers of both Going On Faith and Select Traveler magazines. The group was accompanied by several hosts from Jordan, including Christine Moore and Omar Banihani, who work on behalf of the Jordan Tourism Board’s North American office in Washington, D.C.
The group visited sites including Amman, the capital city of Jordan; Jerash, site of an acclaimed Greco-Roman city that dates to the second century; Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist; Mount Nebo, where Moses overlooked the Promised Land; the ancient city of Medaba; the Wadi Rum desert; and Jordan’s Dead Sea resorts.
“We are very pleased with the results of this site inspection trip and plan to do more of them,” said Moore, a religious market consultant for the Jordan Tourism Board. “We know that Jordan is a destination that has to be experienced, and we have no doubt that this prestigious group will be able now to go back and successfully sell this essential region of the Holy Land to their groups.”
“This joint promotion was an unqualified success from our standpoint, and my trip to Jordan was right at the top of the site inspection trips I’ve done overseas,” said Lacy. “Our group represented some very accomplished travel planners for both faith-based groups and esteemed secular travel organizations. My compliments to the Jordan Tourism Board for organizing such a meaningful program.”
To date, the effort has resulted in the accompanying article in Going On Faith, eight video interviews on-site with participants and Banihani, and a full complement of social media publicity through Twitter and Facebook. Another feature article will run in the January/February issue of Select Traveler magazine. The videos will rest on The Group Travel Leader website for the next year or longer and will be used as supporting online content for editorial related to Jordan or international travel planning.
At press time, the Jordan Tourism Board was discussing a second site inspection tour in the coming months for planners who were unable to attend in October.
For more information about contracting with The Group Travel Leader Inc. to host a similar site inspection trip in the United States or overseas, contact Stacey Bowman or Kelly Tyner toll-free at 888-253-0455. Or send an email to Stacey@grouptravelleader.com.