|Feynan Ecolodge Partnership with EcoHotels Marks a New Era for RSCN’s Eco-Tourism Strategy
AMMAN, Jordan -The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) has entered into a partnership with private sector company EcoHotels to further develop and improve the services in Feynan Ecolodge, selected by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the top 50 ecolodges in the world. By attracting more visitors through EcoHotels’s expertise in eco-friendly hotel operations, sales and marketing, this new partnership is an opportunity to further the RSCN’s goals of nature conservation while promoting socio-economic development for the communities living near Dana Biosphere Reserve. The RSCN maintains ownership of the ecolodge, while all management and operational activities are now handled by EcoHotels. This collaboration is a first in the Kingdom and probably in the region.
The Director of RSCN, Chris Johnson remarked, “Private sector partnerships, like the one for Feynan Ecolodge, take a management burden from RSCN’s shoulders and give us more time to devote to our core work of conserving biodiversity in Jordan. We are, after all, a conservation organization, not a tourism organization and we have developed eco-tourism as a tool to help us protect nature. We feel that private sector partners, who are better qualified to operate tourism enterprises, can help us make this tool more effective.”
EcoHotels Managing Director Nabil Tarazi announced that, “EcoHotels is proud to build upon the exceptional foundation that RSCN laid at Feynan with an improved visitor offering and service, nourishing deeper relationships with local communities and generating revenue for the conservation of Dana Biosphere Reserve.”
During the month of August a team from RSCN and EcoHotels completed renovations and hosted service training sessions led by hospitality leaders for the staff at Feynan. “Feynan reopened in September and has received exceptional feedback from regular clients and new visitors alike,” commented Tarazi. “The majority of clients at Feynan have long been internationals, but we would also like to welcome the Jordanian community to discover the treasure they have in their own backyard,” Tarazi added. Feynan has 26 rooms with a capacity to accommodate 58 guests. Feynan has recently experienced an increase in the amount overnight stays from September through December.
Chris Johnson noted the RSCN’s long term vision “is to develop more private sector partnerships for our eco-tourism enterprises, not just in terms of operational management but also in terms of investment opportunities. In strategic terms we see these partnerships as a progressive and sustainable way of meeting our fundamental mission of integrating nature conservation with socio-economic development.”
Hailed as one of the top 50 ecolodges in the world by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, Feynan provides an adventurous, enchanting escape into the Dana Biosphere Reserve. The solar powered lodge is lit exclusively by candles and stars by night, with 26 en-suite rooms boasting unique arabesque designs. Feynan features regional vegetarian dishes made from local ingredients. Guests can be found hiking or biking across diverse landscapes, encountering Bedouin, and exploring archaeological sites including some of the world’s oldest copper mines.