Empowering Youth to Engage in the Local Tourism Scene

Female youth empowers other youth to generate income through local tourism

Lubna Hijazeen, a 25-year-old youth residing in a small village North of Karak governorate. Although she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance from Mutah University in Karak, she was unable to get a job after graduation, like many young people in the area. So she decided to seek volunteer opportunities instead, like one friend who volunteers with different civil society organizations and local centers. In addition to her volunteer experience, Lubna is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Finance and Investment to increase her employability chances.

Lubna was always fond of the hidden tourist sites in her village and felt that they needed to have their share of publicity on Jordan’s tourist map. Earlier this year, Lubna honed her skills with the USAID YouthPower Tourism and Local Heritage Learning Club, which empowered her to design and lead an initiative to promote her village as a local and potentially international must-visit destination. Her initiative, entitled ‘Tourism Promotion,’ comes in response to the poor services provided to visitors and lack of appropriate routes and facilities that previously hampered local efforts to promote tourism. Accordingly, in collaboration with the Karak Tourism Directorate and Tourism Police Department, Lubna and her fellow youth teammates conducted awareness sessions to promote local tourist sites in Karak governorate. They also connected with adventure-enthusiast groups in the Kingdom to develop and map easy tourist routes, and collaborated with food suppliers in their community to promote local cuisines.

“USAID YouthPower empowered me to speak with decision-makers and officials in my governorate and address the needs of my community with them.”

But these empowered youth did not stop there; they also devised a creative method to address their community’s conservative culture and high unemployment rate among youth. The champion youth trained a number of female youth to become tourist guides for female groups that prefer a female to a male guide to explore the tourist destinations with. Lubna said: “Through this experience, I learned to not only think of myself when looking for a job but to also think of solutions for the other youth living under the same circumstances.”

In the future, Lubna and her fellow youth aspire to turn their initiative into a sustainable business that encourages all segments of their community to generate income through local tourism, including women, men, artists, musicians and more.

USAID YouthPower continues to provide support and motivate youth-driven initiatives to breach boundaries and engage with their communities’ needs productively, with the agency to advocate for themselves.

Read more about our work in Jordan here.

Area of expertise: Economic Development, Youth