HE Minister of Tourism & Antiquities, Nayef H Al Fayez, hosted a graduation ceremony for tour guides and tourist police officers that have completed a sign language course, organized by the Jordan Tourism Board, in cooperation with the Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein Club for the Deaf and Mute in Zarqa, and with the Jordan Applied University College for Hospitality and Tourism Education.
This sign language course is the first of its kind in the Arab world, and is considered the first step in the Jordan Tourism Board’s direction to target deaf and mute travelers from around the world. The Board also plans on producing a promotional film in sign language to promote Jordan as a destination that can cater to the needs of these travelers.
Al Fayez emphasized the importance of the Board’s new direction to promote Jordan as a destination of many treasures that can be enjoyed by all types of travelers and tourists, pointing to the significance of focusing on the human element of tourism. Al Fayez also pointed to the importance of continued development and training for tour guides. He said that tourism is considered as one of the most important industries that contribute to the national economy, and there is a vision to develop tourism not only as a product but as a communication tool with each visitor.
He clarified that it is because of this reason that there is an interest in sign language, which is considered one of the most important languages in the world for there are very few countries that pay any attention to it, and therefore Jordan is able to attract that type of visitor. He said that the international tourism associations that deal with this kind of tourism are widespread and we will be working in partnership with them to bring in as many of these travelers.
Acting Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board, Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Al Arabiyyat, said that “we have coordinated with the Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein Club for the Deaf and Mute to train 12 tour guides and 6 tourist police officers, so we can encourage and incentivize tour groups abroad and in Jordan with those special needs, so that Jordan may be one of the leading countries in the region that applies this new tourism initiative.”
The sign language course with a tourism aspect included giving the trainees lessons in sign language alphabet, in addition to the signs that are needed as a tour guide, as well as the ways in which Jordan’s history and the different tourist sites may be explained.
Al Arabiyyat confirmed the significance of the fruitful cooperation between the Jordan Tourism Board and the Jordan Tour Guides Association to work together on building the foundations to develop the proper guiding techniques to all those qualified and able from Jordan’s noble citizenry, to work in the tour guide sector and to present a honorable image of their country, to work on attracting visitors to the country, and to leave a good impression about the country and its people.
The graduation ceremony was attended by HE Michael Nazzal, President of the Jordan Hotel Association, and Mohammad Hammad, the General Secretary of the Jordan Hotel Association, as well as many representatives of the tourism sector.