Tourism in Jordan. What does it lack?

Tourism in Jordan lacks Service!

I was in Kuwait doing my paper work. The Company messenger was driving me around from one government building to another and he was gracious enough to drive me to the airport.

We had this conversation (his name is Raed):

Raed: I was born in Kuwait and I love it, are you sad you are leaving Kuwait?

Khaled: I’m OK, I mean I can always come back by obtaining a visa from airport. it is not a big issue for me. you should visit Jordan it is such a beautiful country we have Petra, Aqaba, Dead Sea & Wadi Rum.

Raed: Yes, I’m also a diver and I belong to Kuwait diving club. We go to Sharm twice a month.

Khaled: you should visit Jordan, the weather is great, we have great security and Aqaba is considered one of the best diving spots worldwide.

Raed: Yes, I actually been to Jordan 4 years ago, we heard it is a safe country and family oriented. So the club has selected a conservative bunch and we tried Jordan to see if we can change from Sharm to Aqaba.

Khaled: GREAT!

Raed: At one restaurant in Amman, the owner came and spoke to us and he was complimenting Kuwait and remembering his memories back in the old days. At the end when we left we tried to leave him a big tip, but he refused! which was shocking to us. Wow! this is the first time we witness such a thing. In Lebanon, Egypt and Syria it is nothing like that. We were impressed.

Raed: Then while smoking Shisha at some cafe in Amman, a young boy came to us trying to sell us chewing gum. He was such a young boy and he wouldn’t take No as an answer, so we told him how much would the whole box cost? Which was around 5JD. We paid him 5JD and told him to leave us alone. He took the money and vanished. Then 5 minutes later he comes back telling us: My dad told me to give you your money back. If you want to buy fine, but we don’t take charity. Which shocked the heck out of us.

Raed: We fill in love with the country. Safe, great weather, people with ethics and not after your money….

Khaled: Yes, Jordanians are like that.

Raed: Then we arrived to Aqaba and checked in at a 4 star hotel. While in line waiting to check in the front Desk guy started screaming at us: MOVE YOUR CASES OUT OF THE WAY NOW! MOVE THEM! YELLA!
Which was very disturbing to us. We never face such rudeness in neighboring countries. The service got from bad to worse at the hotel, which made us cut our trip short and go to Sharm.

Khaled: When was that?

Raed: 4 years ago.

Khaled: No, things has been better since then.

Raed: It is a shame, we were planning to shift our bi-monthly diving groups from Sharm to Aqaba, but not with such service. We don’t mind spending the money as long we receive the service we look for.

What a shame. Jordan has the Potentials, but lacks the right implementation.

Maybe, it is time to invest in Non-Jordanian employees to give the right service!

Boarding in 30 minutes….

Peace

  • http://deleted هيثم الشيشاني Haitham Al-Sheeshany

    I think what you said can be generalized to the service sector in Jordan not just tourism.
    We have the resources for sure but implementation is where the focus should be.

    * Safe trip back home :).

    H.

    • http://40some.wordpress.com Khaled

      Hi Haitham,

      it is a shame, we need to appreciate the blessings we got in Jordan and compliment it with the right service.

      Thank you 🙂

  • khaled gharaibeh

    thanks khaled,
    well, it lacks more than hotel employees. we (normal jordanians) do not know the industry of tourism. every one of us has to be a professional “travel agent” and show our guests every help and advice possible while they stay in Jordan. I guess talking different languages will also help, clean restaurants, clean non-5-star hotels, motels, etc will also help.

    • http://40some.wordpress.com Khaled

      Thank you Khaled,

      tourism is one of the most promising sectors of the national economy. It became clear that with the economic crisis the entire world is encountering; several countries are trying to take immediate steps to attract tourists in order to maintain the state’s income from tourism a challenge undoubtedly facing Jordan, where tourism accounts for almost 14% of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP). (Source: Zawya)

      There should be more efforts to enhance the service quality in Jordan, we need more & more & more training till we get it right.

  • http://www.aliwritings.blogspot.com Ali

    everything has been positive until they wanted to check into that 4 star which i really want to know it’s name to go kick the guys ass!

    I have to disagree with RAED. Yes jordanians do have ethics and everything but they are after tourists money. Specially in places like AQABA. They run after tourists for some cash in there pockets and they’re not ashamed of doing that.

    That guy on the front desk of the 4 star hotel probably is fully satisfied with what he does because either those guys checked in or not he is getting paid. He won’t be punished for speaking with tourists like this. This needs to be fixed which won’t happen anytime soon i think.l

    • http://40some.wordpress.com Khaled

      Thanks Ali,

      We need to stay positive and never give up 🙂

  • http://expatfamilyinamman.blogspot.com babs

    That guy needs his manager on his back 24/7 that’s the problem and then should get fired on the spot. No hotel (1 or 3 or 5 *) wants that kind of employee behind there front desk. The problem with Aqaba (or the Dead Sea or Petra) is that there are not enough staff to choose from, so the hotels hire “what” they can get. Even in Amman you get crapy service – but it’s the manager lazyness which is to blame… like everywhere else in the world. Believe me this could happen everywhere, not just in Jordan… Hotelier’s word!

    • http://40some.wordpress.com Khaled

      Thanks Babs,

      I agree that remote areas have issues with labour, I guess we need to offer more training then and make sure the locals down there have the appropriate training to run the show.

  • http://www.urdunmubdi3.net yusuf mansur

    Great blog; it underscores our strengths and weaknesses: good , proud people, but lacking training in services, particulalry hospitality. Should be shared with the Ministry of Tourism

    • http://40some.wordpress.com Khaled

      Thank you Yusuf,

      I really appreciate the compliment and yes Training is the solution no doubt.

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  • http://www.visitjordan.com Nayef Alfayez

    What happened was unfortunate and unacceptable, and things should be reported as they occur so action is taken against those who give the tourism industry and Jordan a bad name. I do agree with khaled, all Jordanians need to be travel agents and help visitors in the country, It will make a big change in Jordan..

  • http://40some.wordpress.com Khaled

    Dear Mr. Nayef,

    Thank you for stopping by, I’m also working on a new site that will give visitors & locals the opportunity to rate and review hotels and restaurants in Jordan. Shedding light on the quality of service and how it might affect the pocket of the owner might incentivise the owner to train his staff and offer better service.