Sunday, August 18, 2013

QAIA Jumps 142 Points Ahead in 2013 Airport Service Quality Survey on Global Ranking

Amman, Aug. 17 (Petra)- Achieving advanced results for service levels and passenger satisfaction, Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) has jumped from its 2012 international ranking at 186th place to 44th place this year according to the global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey for Q2 2013.

Managed by Airport International Group (AIG), the Jordanian company responsible for the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of QAIA, the Kingdom’s prime airport scored exceptionally well on check-in efficiency; security inspection thoroughness; passport and visa controls; waiting and gate areas’ comfort levels; as well as facility, environment and service quality.

The ASQ Survey is the world’s leading airport passenger satisfaction benchmark program, and covers over 200 airports in more than 50 countries, with over 350,000 passengers interviewed. It provides the most authoritative and extensive analysis of airport service performance, and is trusted by over 200 airports around the globe and more than 60% of the world’s 100 largest airports.

An Airports Council International (ACI) initiative, the program is managed by aviation business analysis specialists, DKMA, who provide independent market research, analysis and information solutions exclusively for the airport industry.

"It is very encouraging to see that, just a few months into its operation, the new QAIA terminal has secured outstanding results for customer service excellence, landing it among the world’s 50 highest ranked airports. Upon the completion of its scheduled second phase of development, we have no doubt that QAIA will help raise the bar for airport service quality in the MENA region," said AIG CEO, Kjeld Binger. He added that the Survey’s findings will help AIG in further improving traveler experience at QAIA.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

National Geographic Traveler: Feynan Ecolodge is one of the Best 25 Ecolodges in the World

Amman, Jordan (May 27, 2013) – National Geographic Traveler Magazine announced this week the 2013 list of “Best 25 Ecolodges” in the world.  Feynan Ecolodge, located in Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan was among the winners of this award.  The list is published online
It will be featured in the June/July 2013 issue of the magazine that will be available on newsstands from June 4.

Feynan Ecolodge is a 26-room solar-powered lodge with an ethos of providing unique visitor experiences, with minimal impact on the environment, while contributing to conservation work and providing income generation opportunities to the local community.

The last time that National Geographic compiled the list was in 2009, when 50 properties from around the world were chosen.  Feynan is one of only 5 lodges in the world to make both the 2009 and the 2013 list. 

“The selection process was competitive and our editorial team worked long and hard to find 2013’s best, most authentic, most sustainable lodges,” said National Geographer Traveler’s associate editor Amy Alipio.  She added, “This year marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society. The lodges we selected capture the Society’s spirit of exploration and commitment to the environment.”

Nabil Tarazi, Founder & Managing Director of EcoHotels, Feynan’s operating company commented: “We are very proud that Feynan was named by National Geographic to this prestigious list.  We are very excited to also be one of only 5 lodges in the world to be recognized twice by National Geographic.  This is a testament to the pioneering work that we have been doing since 2009 to make Feynan a world class lodge and an ecotourism model.

“The RSCN is thrilled that our flagship property, Feynan, has won this award” said Yehya Khaled, Director General of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), the agency responsible for Dana Biosphere Reserves and owners of Feynan Ecolodge. Khaled continued “It reinforces the importance of ecotourism as a tool for conservation and it further solidifies the position of Jordan on the world ecotourism map.”

This latest award adds to a number of other accolades that Feynan has won in recent years; awards that include:
-          One of the top 50 ecolodges in the world for 2009 by National Geographic Adventure Magazine.
-          One of the top 15 ecolodges in the world for 2012 in CNNGo
-          Best project that combines conservation work and local community benefit in the Guardian’s 2010 Green Travel list,
-          Travel + Leisure’s 2010 Global Vision Award for Sustainable Design,
-          Highly Commended for Best for Poverty Reduction in the Responsible Tourism Awards 2011.
-          Certificates of Excellence in 2011, 2012 and 2013 from TripAdvisor
-          Tripadvisor’s 2013 Traveler’s Choice Award for Best Service

About Feynan Ecolodge:  The 26-room solar powered lodge provides an adventurous, enchanting escape into the Dana Biosphere Reserve. Developed by the RSCN in 2005, and managed by EcoHotels since 2009, Feynan is a model of sustainability and ecotourism.  Operated with minimal impact on the environment and contributing to the conservation of nature, Feynan also provides income generating opportunities and benefits for the local communities surrounding the Dana Biosphere Reserve.  In 2012, over 400 people from the community benefited from Feynan, and over 50% of the revenue paid by the guests stayed within the community.
Feynan is more than an accommodation; it is a set of unique experiences.  Guests can be found hiking or biking across diverse landscapes, interacting with the local Bedouin community, stargazing and exploring archeological sites including some of the world’s oldest copper mines.

About EcoHotels: Founded in 2009, EcoHotels is a privately owned Jordanian company currently employing 33 people at the head office in Amman and at Feynan Ecolodge. EcoHotels aims to provide escapes embedded in local culture, filled with new experiences, with minimal environmental impact and delivered with a passion for impeccable service. Feynan Ecolodge is the company’s first management project, a business model the company has perfected to replicate in its future projects.  In 2012, EcoHotels was chosen as the second fastest growing company in Jordan in the AllWorld Network Arabia 500 list of fastest growing companies in the region.

About The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN): An independent, nongovernmental organization devoted to the conservation of Jordan’s natural heritage, the RSCN was founded in 1966, under the patronage of His Majesty the late King Hussein.  It has been given responsibility by the Jordanian Government to care for and protect the Kingdom’s biodiversity. As such, it is one of the few voluntary organizations in the Middle East to be granted such a public mandate. RSCN has achieved international fame for its pioneering work in integrating nature conservation programmes with socio-economic development, and especially for its development of eco-tourism operations that help to sustain the Kingdoms’ network of protected areas.

About National Geographic Traveler: National Geographic Traveler is the world's most widely read travel magazine, with more than 8.5 million readers. It championed sustainable travel before it was cool and, eight times annually, celebrates journeys that are about place, experience, culture, authenticity, living like the locals, and great photography. It makes a distinction between tourism and travel, and stresses inquisitive not acquisitive trips. It employs storytelling and you-are-there photography to inspire readers to pick up and go. And, with the theme of "Nobody Knows This World Better," it eschews fashion and fluff in favor of articles that offer a strong sense of place, inspiring narratives that make readers take trips, and solid service information to help them plan those trips.

Keywords: Ecotourism, Ecolodge, Feynan, National Geographic Traveler, Sustainable, Award, Jordan, Best Ecolodges, EcoHotels, RSCN, Conservation, TIES, Middle East 

Jordan’s First Largest Five-Star Internationally Renowned Hotel


The InterContinental Jordan marks 50th Anniversary boosting a series of successes and 

Ifcic: “This year will mark the launch of new offers and services and continuous expansions”

(AMMAN, JORDAN- February 18, 2013) — The InterContinental Jordan held a press conference today on the occasion of the 50th anniversary on its establishment in the Kingdom. The press conference was attended by representatives of local and regional press, InterContinental Jordan General Manager Mr. Jan Ifcic and Mrs. Lucie Aslou, Area Director of Public Relations.

The InterContinental Jordan was established in Amman in 1963, to be the first five-star hotel in Jordan at the time. Currently, the hotel is the largest with a total capacity of 440 guest rooms that hosted key figures and millions of guests over the past five decades. The hotel’s halls and facilities had also hosted several events, and important local and international conferences.

“Fifty years back, the InterContinental Hotel announced the start of its operations in Jordan during a memorable grand opening ceremony held under the patronage of His Majesty the Late King Hussein Bin Talal. Since then, InterContinental Jordan has been a witness and a reflection of Amman’s development in different sectors. Today we take pride in our hotel as we take pride in its people since establishment to date,” said Mr. Ifcic at the conference.

He added: “Our sense of pride stems from the successes we were able to achieve over the past five decades in the tourism and hospitality sector and the successful social and environmental initiatives. All these would not have been realized without the cooperation and harmony with all the segments of the Jordanian society, which provided our international hotel with a local Jordanian feature that stems from the Jordanian society and its genuine habits of hospitality.”

He also revealed some of the hotel’s plans for this year that entail launching several initiatives that seek to support the community and the environment. In addition, Mr. Ifcic revealed an expansion and development plan in the hotel’s facilities. He also noted that the hotel invested JD17 million in 2010 to provide its guests with premium hospitality services.

Mr. Ifcic noted that the year 2013 will be a festive year witnessing the launching of several programmes, initiatives and social and promotional events.

InterContinental Jordan’s efforts have not gone unnoticed and the hotel boasts many awards to their name including the 2002, 2005, and 2006 Best Business Hotel in Amman Award and the Best InterContinental Hotel in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) in 2004, the EMEA IHG Community Involvement Award, and the Risk Management Outstanding Achievement Award in 2010. In 2011, InterContinental successfully acquired the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Certification and the Outstanding Performance Award at the Jordan Travel Awards ceremony, which was organized by the Jordan Hotel Association.

 As the first hotel with an environmentally-conscience agenda, the hotel has significantly reduced their energy and water consumption levels, earning the covetable Green Key Certificate in 2011.

2012 was an especially memorable year for InterContinental Jordan. The hotel was awarded Jordan's Leading Business Hotel and the IHG Academy Certification for their partnership with the Jordan River foundation and the Vocational Training Center.

The InterContinental Jordan had also greatly contributed to revenues generated by the tourism and hospitality sector. The sector’s revenues increased by 20 % and stood at $1.5 billion in last November.

Jordan’s tourism product is distinguished with its diversity and the country receives tourists from different countries of the world, including tourists from the Gulf States who come to visit the Kingdom’s touristic places especially Petra to enjoy archaeology and Wadi Rum, to enjoy the magnificent nature.

In Conclusion, Mr. Ifcic thanked the InterContinental Jordan guests and employees who contributed to the success of the hotel throughout the years. 

Notes to Editors:
About IHG: IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organization with nine hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, as well as our two newest brands, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts. IHG also manages Priority Club® Rewards, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty program with over 63 million members worldwide.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,400 hotels and more than 658,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories, and has more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline.

IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 new people worldwide across its estate over the next few years and is committed to gender balance throughout its business. We aspire to continue retaining a minimum of 25% female representation on the Board.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Visit for hotel information and reservations and for more on Priority Club Rewards. For our latest news, visit or

For more information, please contact:
Lucie Aslou
Area Director of Public Relations
Intercontinental Jordan Hotel

Tel: 4641361

The Story Of The Land

Living Well Magazine Jordan – July 2013

On the outskirts of Madaba lies Mount Nebo, one of Jordan’s many treasured historic and religious landmarks. Today, only a short distance from the church at its peak, Nebo has become the home to La Storia, a museum and tourism complex that celebrates the region’s past by telling its stories in an original, innovative way. Muhanad Twal, an investor in the project, tells us more.

What kinds of historical exhibits can visitors expect to see at La Storia?
The idea behind the museum is to tell you the story of the land, from the Old Testament through to the era of the New Testament. It’s arranged in a big circle, where you walk through a winding path to see the exhibits, which are all sculptures with 3D backgrounds behind them. It starts with Noah’s Arc, where you see a huge boat with the animals. Then, you get to other parts of the Old Testament, like the destruction of Babylon and where Moses split the Red Sea. Then, the Christ era – where he was born, where he was baptized and the last supper. 
Next is Petra, as well as a glimpse of the traditional uniforms of the area’s different tribes. After that, the Islamic era is represented, and then the history of Jordan itself. From this point on, all of the sculptures are motorized. This part takes you into a different era; basically, it shows you what the Bedouin life was like. Then, the Great Arab Revolt is represented, and after that, the Hashemite section, which shows the army, its different rankings and the tools and weapons they used in that time.  Once you finish the historical part, you transition into a big traditional village.
Tell us about La Storia’s motorized village section.
It’s modeled to actually feel like a real village. You walk through it and see moving sculptures of all of the people doing the jobs of the old days: the potter, the barber, the blacksmith, everything. You walk through the narrow streets and the village’s alleyways and you live the life of Bilad al Sham. Everything is motorized, so you can walk into a cafĂ© and find people smoking hookah and listening to music. You walk in the mosque and see children reading the Quran. There are glassblowers, someone baking, someone making rugs and carpets; all of these sculptures of people are life-sized. You move through a scene that is two or three stories high, with more people out above you on balconies. You are walking into the village as if they are living there now, with all the fine details. Our goal was to tell this story and to give you a snapshot of each part of the history, just to try to get you to live it or to see what people were doing at that time.
Besides the historical representations, what is there for people to see when visiting La Storia?
There’s a big observatory where you can see all the way to the Baptism Site and the West Bank. It’s a big paved area, around onedunom, and you can order a coffee from our cafeteria and just walk around there and enjoy it. We also have a live section of the museum, where you can find people making mosaics, carpets, and furniture, which you can buy. We focus on hiring local people who are disabled; we want to give the opportunity to anyone who is disabled and has a talent to work, while at the same displaying their crafts in our bazaar section.
Who are the people behind La Storia?
The two partners are two very dear and close childhood friends of mine, Samer Twal and Bashar Twal. They’ve been working on it for almost four years. They were tour guides at the beginning of their lives, so they’ve visited everywhere in Jordan and they know what interests tourists. One of the partners studied in Italy and some of the ideas were obtained from there. We had a lot of artists who worked on the project, whether on the sculptures, the decorations, the backgrounds, or the paintings. Most of the engineers were local, but really we had from all nationalities. I was approached as an investor and I really loved the idea.
At the launch of the museum on March 17, you also launched a future record-breaking mosaic mural project. How will that mural be created?
In an area of the museum, we’ve created a space where the biggest mosaic mural in the world is going to be created. It will depict the King’s Highway, taking you as though you’re driving from the most southern part to the most northern part of Jordan. It’s not a map; it’s more like a Google Map! As you drive along the King’s Highway, you pass all of the historic sites of Jordan, all of which will be depicted in the mosaics.
HRH Princess Sumaya put the first cornerstone, and it’s going to take about two to three million stones, and about two to three years, to be finished. All visitors to the museum will have the chance to participate and put a stone, and at the end, it will go in theGuinness Book of World Records as the largest mosaic and the one with the most participants in its creation. All proceeds raised in this project will go towards the preservation of Madaba’s heritage.
What does this museum aim to accomplish?
Madaba is a very important historic site, and La Storia is going to put focus on it again and on the tourism industry here. Also, it will employ a lot of locals and people of different skills. But, most importantly, it’s going to be a touristic attraction site for all the people visiting Jordan, giving them an idea about our way of living, historically and currently.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Arab tourism market exhibition in Dubai

Pan East International DMC participated in the Arab tourism market exhibition, which was held in Dubai

Where the site was booked in the Jordanian wing headed by Mr. Imad Malhas. many colleagues and participating delegates attended Pan East  booth

Live from Jordan

Jordan Tourism Board has teamed up with EarthCam as the first country in the Middle East to install tourism webcams. This not only acts as a virtual passport, but also emphasizes Jordan’s safety amidst the political turbulence in neighboring countries. 

Jordan is a country that is rich with history, culture and heritage which can now be accessed through the lenses of EarthCam’s webcams. Travel through historical monuments such as The Citadel Towers, to the busty metropolitan city of Jordan’s capital, Amman. 

According to EarthCam, the camera located at the Dead Sea, is the “lowest webcam on the planet,” and it transports you to beautiful waters that contain rich sources of natural salts which have high healing and therapeutic properties. For different yet not unworthy waters, the webcam in Aqaba takes you to views of the beaches of the Red Sea. 

Perhaps the most unequivocal site to be seen through EarthCam’s webcams, the “first webcam to deliver view of a world wonder,” is Jordan’s most valuable treasure, the ancient city of Petra. 

Both EarthCam’s Network Product Specialist Clarissa Ramirez and Managing Director of Jordan Tourism Board Abdul Razzaq Arabiyyat show great enthusiasm towards this partnership. 

“We are thrilled to partner with the Jordan Tourism Board to give people around the world the chance to experience the country from several unique perspectives”, said Clarissa Ramirez. “This collection of educational and scenic cameras offers something for everyone, whether you are an adventure seeker, history buff or travel enthusiast.” 

“This is very exciting for the Jordan Tourism Board, as Jordan is the first country in the Middle East to install webcams for tourism purposes”, said Dr. Abdul Razzaq Arabiyyat. “This will not only show that Jordan is unaffected by the political turbulence that has been going on around the region, but will also showcase the beauty of the sites day and night.” 

Echoing Dr. Abdul Razzaq Arabiyyat's sentiment, Alaa Al Hindi, IT Manager at Jordan Tourism Board added, “The installation of the EarthCam cameras show that Jordan is one of the most advanced countries in the region when it comes to state-of-the-art technologies. Having live streams of our beautiful Jordan just a click away from any PC or Smartphone is great!”