In its efforts to further promote Jordan, Jordan’s Tourism Board (JTB) has recently launched a unique project involving marketing collaboration with travel bloggers. The concept, called iambassador, an initiative by Keith Jenkins, founder and publisher of the VelvetEscape luxury travel blog, is the first of its kind bringing together the tourism board and eight travel bloggers who have visited Jordan, leveraging the bloggers’ published Jordan content and their social networks.
The innovative marketing campaign is sponsored by the JTB and is a testament to its aim to continuously look for unique ways to promote Jordan. “We were approached with this idea by Keith Jenkins, founder and publisher of the luxury travel blog Velvet Escape, and one of the travel bloggers that we hosted on a trip to Jordan,” said director of JTB is Dr Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat. “The idea was to leverage the published content on Jordan, to breathe new life into it, and to answer questions from readers and those interested in travel to Jordan.”
According to Arabiyat, the project is expected to create awareness of Jordan as a stand-alone destination as well as to entice people to actually travel to the country. “This is done through the bloggers sharing their firsthand experiences in Jordan and their impressions of the country, what they think their readers will be interested in experiencing, and why they think Jordan is a worthwhile destination”.
The campaign kicked off on December 15, 2011, with bloggers, showcasing Jordan as a featured destination on their blogs for a month. The campaign also included a social media event spanning two days during which the bloggers partnered with Visit Jordan (http://ar.visitjordan.com/) to create a media marketing blitz using their social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, with Twitter being the primary platform) to promote Jordan. This was done through their content, as well as by encouraging others to submit their content using the specialized hashtag #GoJordan. Jordan content from other sources will also be promoted.
The bloggers then got together with VisitJordan to host a #GoJordan hour whereby questions from followers were answered by the bloggers and JTB. During this activity, the public was encouraged to post their Jordan travel questions on the Visit Jo facebook page.
With social media and blogger outreach for 2011 results being very ‘pleasing’, Arabiyat says that the JTB will continue in this direction, with new and innovative campaigns for 2012. “The individual blog trips that we have hosted have contributed to creating major awareness of Jordan and the special experiences it offers. For 2012, we will be working with bloggers and expanding our social media outreach, but through different methods. We will be announcing new and exciting projects soon,” he said.
“We have a new strategy that set forth four goals: to expand the distribution channels of the Jordan tourism product; to enhance and develop the promotion tools for the product; to strengthen JTB’s relationship with stakeholders locally and abroad; and to develop the institutional performance of JTB,” Dr Arabiyat continued.
“Based on these goals, strategic objectives were established, including plans to conduct marketing activities in new emerging markets; to increase focus on promoting medical, wellness, religious, and educational tourism, in addition to the main six experiences; to work on charter flights from promising potential markets; and working on a joint effort with the Dubai tourism sector to target long-haul destinations such as Australia and Brazil, among others. Moreover, our online presence will be solidified and enhanced, and we will work on a unified Jordanian tourism identity that will represent the entire sector, and which will be applied to our redesigned promotional material.”
“2012 is a big year for Jordan. Petra is celebrating its 200th anniversary since its rediscovery, with many activities to celebrate this momentous occasion planned throughout the year. Furthermore, the revived Jerash Festival will take place in the summer, with performers coming in from all over the world, as well as the continuation of the Citadel Nights and the Dead Sea nights that started in 2011.”
BY MAYSA ZUREIKAT
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