malia asfour, jordan tourism board
How do you feel that your history best prepares you for service on the ATCF Board?
- Founded Jordan Tourism Board North America (JTBNA) in 1997.
- Oversee all public relations, media relations, advertising and marketing related to tourism for the Kingdom of Jordan in the North American market.
- Direct staff of 10 professionals with annual budget of nearly $2 million.
- Responsible for developing and implementing the annual strategic plan for the North American market for the JTB Board of Directors.
- Currently represent Jordan/Destinations on the boards of Faith Travel Association (FTA), Petra National Foundation (PNF), ATTA and Tourism Cares. I am also a member of the USTOA Destinations for Destinations Committee, the NTA Policy Governance Committee and the NTA Destinations Committee and I work in our local community on different issues. I have served on the NTA and the USTOA boards in the past. My experience on all these boards has given me an opportunity to gain insight and a more global perspective on the travel industry and the need of insuring balance between trade, community development and conservation. It is our responsibility to take the next step in educating travelers and governments on the future and need for this balance. It is my hope that I can lend a hand in helping ATCF achieve its goals and help local communities and conservation globally.
Outline the specific skills you bring or contributions you hope to make to the ATCF Board.
Destination marketing; global perspective; media outreach; travel & tourism board experience; event coordination and management; crisis communication and management.
Why do you seek a position on the ATCF Board of Directors?
I believe in the cause and feel there is a strong need for education about conservation and sustainable tourism development especially in third world countries. My background as a destination marketer allows me to look at destinations and project in different perspectives that hopefully would help any project ATCF embarks upon especially in how the project will benefit and then be presented and integrated into the fabric of the tourism infrastructure. I am definitely passionate about helping other destination develop sustainable tourism tactics and identifying companies/projects that are in need of assistance that can be supported by ATCF. My years of experience in this industry would hopefully be an asset to ATCF.
Describe any experience with sustainable tourism.
As a tourism board based in the North American market, I am constantly educating the Jordanian operators as well as the Ministry of tourism on the importance of sustainable tourism. We are always finding stories on sustainable tourism to push out to the media.
Describe any experience working in fundraising and development.
I have little experience in fundraising, however, I am a great beggar and I am able to get sponsors for most events I hold.
Describe any experience working with indigenous/community groups.
I do not have experience with Indigenous communities. However, I have worked on promoting the importance of preserving the Bedouin culture in Jordan and making sure that we protect this indigenous nomadic culture.
Describe any experience working with nonprofits and/or conservation groups.
I currently serve on the board of directors of Tourism Cares and I am the co-chair of their Global Committee. Tourism Cares is a non-profit organization that was established by USTOA and NTA so that the travel industry can play a part in giving-back programs in North America and now globally. Jordan will be the second destination that Tourism Cares will be working with and they will be helping the Jordanian private sector implement CSR programs. I serve on the board of the Petra National Foundation, a US branch for the Petra National Trust, the goal of the foundation is to fund raise in the US to help the Petra National Trust fund projects that preserve and conserve Petra. (Unfortunately, this foundation is not active at the moment)