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Annab, volunteers place route markers along new national hiking trail

By JT - Aug 21,2016 - Last updated at Aug 21,2016

Tourism Minister Lina Annab with volunteers from the Jordan Trail Association during a hike on Saturday in Um Qais to place route markers along the first three kilometres of a new national hiking trail (Photo courtesy of Ali Barqawi)

AMMAN — Tourism Minister Lina Annab joined volunteers from the Jordan Trail Association (JTA) on Saturday to place route markers along the first three kilometres of a new national hiking trail, the JTA said. 

The trail marking, which kicked off in Um Qais, will help orient hikers to their location and the direction of their journey along the 650km route, the JTA said in a statement released Sunday. 

There are over 52 villages and towns along the trail, which passes through diverse landscapes, biodiversity, history and local culture, winding across Jordan from Um Qais in the north to the southern coastal city of Aqaba. 

The JTA is training local guides and helping to set up accommodation and services along the route. 

“The role of the local communities is integral to the development of this national tourism project,” said Annab.

“The trail expands the experience of tourists to areas that are off the classical tourism map, creating job opportunities and space for community-based tourism projects to emerge,” she added.

The JTA hopes the trail will be fully marked by 2018, and will attract adventure tourists to the Kingdom.

JTA President Muna Haddad said the association is working with the Tourism Ministry and the Jordan Tourism Board to market the trail.  

“We are very proud of the volunteered effort that is going into developing the trail. Over 40 volunteers have been dedicated to mapping and now marking the trail over the last four years donating their time, effort and resources to making this dream of many a reality,” she added.

The tourism minister said it was “uplifting” to see diverse communities exchanging knowledge and expertise from their areas, a coordination that she said would enrich the experience for locals and hikers. 

“The trail is truly a remarkable way to see Jordan’s historic and natural treasures and takes tourists outside of the traditional tourism sites to get a deeper insight into Jordan and its people,” Annab added.

 

The trail is divided into eight segments, each representing a distinct region. The full trail takes 36 to 40 days to walk, but parts of the trail can be enjoyed in as little as one day, the JTA said. 

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