Capturing the Tourist's Perspective: Time Travelling from a Roman City to the Byzantine Era, and Getting Lost in the Lost City!

We've all heard the cliché phrase "Travel like a local", which pressures us to accept the good and the bad when traveling. But what if traveling like a tourist gives you the advantage to spot things locals can't? And what if we use the tourist's perspective to ensure a positive tourist experience in Jordan and improve the tourism sector?

November 20, 2022

As a part of Accelerator Lab Jordan's experimentation for improving tourism in Madaba and comparing it to other popular tourist destinations in Jordan, the heads of the Lab planned an itinerary for the Arab region Accelerator Labs to visit Jerash, Madaba, and Petra. The goal of the experiment was to get the perspective of Arab tourists on the cities, weather, road trip, ruins, time allocated, food, and tour guides. (Did you know that out of all international tourists to Jordan, visitors from the Arab world make up the highest percentage?) We also wanted to collect their feedback on the overall experience in order to better understand what challenges tourists face while visiting those places and what ideas they might have for improvement. 


We started the first day of the trip in Jerash - the largest and most well-preserved Roman city left today in the world. We spent a few hours exploring the Roman ruins and enjoying traditional Jordanian music in the Roman Theatre. Then we headed off to Madaba, where we enjoyed the tranquility, spirituality, and serenity of the place, saw the Brazen Serpent sculpture, mosaic, and remains of a Byzantine church, and concluded it with a visit to Springs of Moses. We also enjoyed a quick break and lunch at Carob House in Madaba (a newly opened “farm-to-table community kitchen, café, and cultural space”).

We spent the next day exploring Petra, which is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World! Being surrounded by the rose-colored rocks while walking through the Siq and seeing the Treasury carved into the mountain, we couldn't help but admire this ancient place that seemed full of wisdom and mystery. We also finished off the day with Sajiyeh - a traditional Jordanian dish that consists of lamb meat and vegetables while enjoying the cool breeze of Petra mountains.

Tourists feel a range of emotions throughout a trip which affects how they rate their experience. Hence, we asked the Arab region Accelerator Labs to capture their emotions, reflections, and impressions in a journal so we can collect their feedback through a survey and workshop and use them to create journey maps.