After consulting on dozens of tourism development projects, Baraka encountered many local communities desperately wanting to engage in the tourism sector, but they struggled to succeed, even with support from training programs and micro investments by development agencies. So, we set up Baraka Destinations, a social venture that develops clusters of community owned tourism businesses that then incubates these businesses in cooperation with local owners until the business is profitable. Once the businesses reach a certain stage in their development, the projects are transferred to the business owners, who now have a developed skill set and harnessed capabilities. The aim is to enable tourism entrepreneurs to build their own villages into vibrant tourism destinations.
Our pilot project, funded under a grant from USAID/LENS, is in Um Qais. We partnered with the local community to provide tourism products and experiences clustered to provide a full package for tourists. Our project directly benefits local communities in the Um Qais and Mukheibeh region by establishing stable channels of income from tourism, creating jobs, and reinstating a pride in a place that they call home.
Capitalizing on the success of Baraka Destinations in Um Qais, Baraka is setting up shop in Pella, located in the Jordan Valley. We have already opened a BnB and will be working on developing micro-businesses in Pella that provide income and create jobs for the local community and add to existing experience.