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Queen joins participants of Thru Hike 2017 in Dana Village visit

By JT - May 01,2017 - Last updated at May 01,2017

Her Majesty Queen Rania poses for a group photo with Thru Hike participants at Dana Village on Monday (Photo courtesy of the Royal Court)

AMMAN — Her Majesty Queen Rania visited Dana Village on Monday, taking part in a portion of the Thru Hike programme organised by the Jordan Trail Association (JTA).

The Queen’s visit comes in support of local tourism initiatives that aim to improve the livelihood of local communities and encourage eco-tourism, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s office. 

Queen Rania was welcomed by Muna Haddad, the president of the Jordan Trail Association, and Bashir Daoud, the general manager of the association. 

The Queen then joined Andrew Evans, a National Geographic writer, and Tony Howard and Di Taylor, authors of three outdoors books on Jordan and the first to conceive of the idea of the Jordan Trail, along with other internationally renowned writers and Jordanian volunteers, for a walk to the village.  

At the village, Her Majesty stopped by Dana Shop and the Mini Souq where she watched local women bake traditional “shrak” bread using a “saj” oven. 

She also spoke with local community members about the tourist programmes that help boost their economic opportunities.  

Her Majesty then met with some of the Jordan Trail Association staff members, attendees from the local community, volunteers and hikers who have previously crossed the Jordan Trail. 

At the meeting, the Queen commended all ideas which contribute to the creation of exceptional local innovations like the Jordan Trail. 

She also stressed the vital role that the Jordan Trail plays in promoting tourism and giving participants a distinctive view of Jordan and its local communities, while creating income-generating development opportunities. 

The meeting was moderated by Daoud, who along with Haddad, discussed the objectives of the Jordan Trail Association.  

Beneficiaries of the trail shared some of the positive socio-economic impacts that the project has had on local communities situated along its route.

Hikers who have previously walked the trail also shared their experiences with Her Majesty, including the first three women to hike the entire trail. 

The Jordan Trail Association was established in July 2015 with the aim of developing and maintaining the Jordan Trail and supporting the development of economic opportunities in its 52 participating villages.  

Since its inception, the association has received support from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the USAID Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism project, the Jordan Tourism Board and various local companies and individuals.  

The trail constitutes a 650-kilometre path stretching from Um Qais in the north of Jordan to Aqaba in the south. It requires a total of forty continuous days of walking to complete. 

 

The first official Thru Hike — the crossing of the entire trail — commenced on March 31 and will end on May 13. The Thru Hike is intended to become a yearly event open for public participation. 

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