Jordan and Vatican Discuss Strengthening Tourism Ties, Focusing on Christian Religious Tourism
The Importance of Strengthening Tourism Relations
The notable meeting also included the participation of Dr. Imad Hijasin, General Secretary of the Ministry, and Dr. Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat, General Manager of the Corporation for the Revival of Tourism, and Rasha Shoman, a representative from the European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During this meeting, they reviewed the importance of strengthening the tourism relationship between the Kingdom and the Vatican, particularly regarding Christian religious tourism.
Linking Sacred Sites
Minister Al-Qaisi detailed plans that his ministry endorses; these plans are to link five sites accredited by the Vatican on the Christian pilgrimage route, namely, the bathhouse, Makawer, Mount Nebo, Mar Elias, and Our Lady of the Mountain Church. He shared that the first section of the route, connecting the bathhouse area to the 16 kilometer Mount Nebo region, has been completed. In addition, the rehabilitation of a castle and a Byzantine church in the heritage village, aiming to link the route to areas containing the American parrots of religious significance to Christian pilgrims, is being planned.
Ambassador Daltozo highlighted the pride in Jordan’s model for coexistence. “His holiness the Pope declared 2025 as a holy year,” he stressed. He further added that in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Vatican will highlight Jordan’s role, specifically underscoring the significance and importance of Christian pilgrimage to Jordan. He affirmed the Vatican’s readiness to collaborate with Jordan on this matter.
Implications for Tourism and Interfaith Connection
This meeting signifies not merely a tourism collaboration but more than that, it symbolizes a bridge of interfaith dialogue and connection. Jordan, with its key position along the Christian pilgrimage route, provides a space for different faith communities to congregate, dialogue, and deepen understanding. A strengthened relationship between the Kingdom and the Vatican through mutual cooperation in developing Christian religious tourism offers a promising future of peace, understanding, and tolerance among differing beliefs.
The Future Ahead
With plans to enhance the Christian Pilgrimage route, rejuvenating the Castle and the Byzantine Church in the heritage village, and the Vatican’s readiness to support this endeavor, a promising horizon awaits Jordan’s tourism sector, and its role in promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding. This move signifies proactive steps towards a future where heritage, faith, and culture intertwine, further reinforcing Jordan’s exemplary model of coexistence.
The Power of Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage routes worldwide serve as paths to enlightenment, reflection, and transformation. They link together places of spiritual significance, transporting pilgrims to passages of time, awakening spirits, and connecting hearts across nations and religions. The revitalization and enhancement of Christian pilgrimage in Jordan reaffirm the value of these sacred journeys, unifying diverse faiths along paths of shared history and mutual respect, reflecting a beautiful tapestry of religious harmony.
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