On Sunday, the town of Umm Qais in northern Jordan was recognized at the Best Tourism Villages awards ceremony held in AlUla by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.


The UNWTO’s Tourism for Rural Development Program uses tourism as a tool to advance gender equality, innovation, digitalization, and the empowerment of women and young people, as well as to reduce regional income and development disparities and to combat depopulation. The BTV initiative is the program’s flagship project.

As part of the BTV initiative, which honored 135 locations last December, including AlUla Old Town, the awards were given to communities that are “an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination, with accredited cultural and natural assets, that preserve and promote rural and community-based values, products, and lifestyle, and have a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects — economic, social, and environmental.”

According to the Jordan News Agency, the event was attended by tourism industry leaders and ministers from nominated countries.

“Putting the village of Umm Qais on the list will strengthen the status of the kingdom on the global tourism map,” Imad Hijazin, secretary-general of Jordan’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, said.

According to the Jordan National Tourism Strategy 2021-2025, “this success fits within the ministry’s vision and is in compliance with its tourism development plan.”

Hijazin elaborated by saying that the elevation of the area’s profile would help to strengthen local institutions and boost employment prospects.