religious tourism and its future potential development, evaluate to what extent the holy sites are important in promoting tourism and how they could be utilized as a tool for further promotion and overall development of tourism industry in the future. The research indicates that there are both strengths and weaknesses related to present day tourism of religious sites in Jordan. The strengths include the presence of some of the most important holy sites including Mount Nebo and the Baptismal Site The weaknesses of the current state of tourism involve the lack of proper services and facilities to attract and retain the presence of tourists in the region. In the future one of the primary goals is to create trails that connect the holy sites together. It is believed that this is needed for both practical and promotional purposes. As it stands such trails do not currently exist.
There are also some opportunities and threats associated with the development of religious tourism in Jordan. The opportunities include the development of trails that will aid in the ease at which people can access the sites. The addition of trails will also aid in the ability of the tourism industry to better promote the sites. The threats to tourism include the global economy and the difficulty that exists in certain areas of the country as it pertains to keeping the holy sites clean and also remaining open and friendly to the presence of tourists. These are issues that can be resolved if the tourism ministry takes a more hands-on role in ensuring that the sites are kept clean and that the Jordanian people are more open to foreign tourists.
The research which consisted of interviews, observations and a questionnaire reveal a great deal about the state of religious tourism in Jordan. For instance through the interviews it was reveal that religious tourism in Jordan is an industry that could grow a great deal if the proper mechanisms were in place. Mechanisms such as a Jordanian government committed to ensuring that all of the religious sites in Jordan were properly cared for so that tourists would be attracted to visiting the sites. In addition there was a great deal of evidence to suggest that Jordan needs to do more to capitalize on the common religious heritage that exists in the region and is present amongst each of the religious sites in Jordan. Indeed, Muslims, Christians and Jews all have religious sites in Jordan that are important to each religion. As such these sites can be a Interviewees also seem frustrated with the lack of trails connecting the religious sites. The interviewees believe that these trails will assist in the further development of religious tourism in the region. However efforts to construct such trails have been slow. Overall, according to the interviews it seems that religious tourism in Jordan could be a major asset to Jordan. However there has to be a concerted effort from all the stakeholders to devise a strategy associated with the proper marketing of religious tourism in Jordan.
The interviews also reveal that there must be a concerted effort to advertise religious tourism throughout other parts of the world, particularly in the West. Promoting in the west is advantageous because of the number of Christians who live in Europe and North America. Through proper promotion there could be a great deal of growth that is experienced in Jordanian tourism.
The observations made at the various religious sites throughout Jordan are also telling. The research was able to experience firsthand both the negative and positive aspects of touring religious sites in Jordan. There were some issues associated with access, the cleanliness of sites, concessions and the manner in which tickets were sold. It seems that the more popular sites were more convenient and accommodating for tourists. This finding demonstrates the importance of providing the appropriate type of access so that tourists are attracted to the various religious sites.
The observations also revealed an issue related to souvenirs and where they are created. The observer found that most of the souvenirs are not created in Jordan but instead they come from neighboring countries such as Syria. This is a problem for two reasons. First the Syrian souvenirs…