Shmile 2
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SHMILE-2 Support to hotels in Jordan: Intercontinental Aqaba Resort

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17/01/2014


The tourism sector in Jordan has a strong public-private partnership crowned with a well-formulated 5-year National Tourism Strategy 2011-2105. The strategy depicts the importance of prioritizing environmental sustainability by adopting initiatives that protect and preserve the environment which lead to achieving a green economy. Within the last 4 years tourism accommodation services in Jordan started the adoption of voluntary environmental certifications, the most common amongst them are Green Key, Blue Flag, and Green Globe with more than 35 hotels achieved these eco-labels.

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is playing a key role in promoting the eco-labeling of hotels in Jordan through introducing a new standard (number 6601) for eco-labeling under the hotels classification system which is an optional standard but it gives hotels extra points in for their classification.

Under ShMILE Project in Jordan more than 120 hoteliers from more than 40 different hotels have been involved in the Project activities which spread the awareness about the importance of the EU Eco-label and trained hoteliers on the its mandatory and optional criteria. Today ShMILE Project is supporting around 30 hotels through its technical assistance program that will hopefully prepare more than 10 hotels to be ready to achieve the EU Eco-Label. The Ministry of Tourism is cooperating with the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS) in providing the technical assistance needed for hotels. As a non-for-profit NGO, JREDS is the national and regional representative for the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) who is responsible on managing the Green Key, Blue Flag, and Eco-Schools eco-labels.

The Ministry is working with JREDS to develop a Green Unit at the Ministry to enhance the efforts of the sector for increasing the number of eco-labeled hotels and also to enhance the sustainability of the ShMILE Project in Jordan which includes also establishing a national jury for the eco-labels and to systemize the auditing and renewal of the eco-labels through the hotels classification system at the Ministry. 

The hotels in Jordan are making huge efforts to enhance their regional competitiveness and are thriving to support the endeavors of the country and the tourism sector to be labeled as the top green destination in the region.
Among the active hotels in ShMILE Project is the Intercontinental Aqaba Resort, a five star hotel located in Aqaba, northern beach. The hotel has 255 spacious guestrooms with spectacular views overlooking 300m long private beach and having five Meeting Rooms including the largest Ballroom with Sea views in Aqaba.

The Intercontinental Resort hosted one of the major ShMILE Workshops in Aqaba with more than 80 hoteliers attending. Its staff was active participants and presenters in the project different activities in Jordan and in other project partner countries. With the very active involvement of the hotel in the project technical assistance, it is expected that it will be among the first hotels not only in Jordan but in the region who will achieve the EU Eco-Label which will be celebrated in the project final conference to be held in Aqaba beginning of April 2014.