Jordan’s $10 Million Deal With Google

By: Sherief Ahmed

Madaba, Karak, and Wadi Rum, ever heard of them?  That isn’t a surprise, but that may change soon. They are just some of the lesser known historical sites to visit while traveling in Jordan.  Jordan has been trying to boost its tourism in recent years and has finalized a $10 million deal with Google to use its advertising platform to bring attention to its tourism industry.  Jordan is hoping the world’s leading search engine can give more exposure to the country as well its tourism.

Buying ad space and key words have helped many local businesses compete with larger businesses.  For example, you can pay Google to bring your business as one of the top search result for a particular word search, for example “shipping.” Using this system for tourism is unique and may start a trend in the region, which will be great to bring attention to the richness of history, culture, and natural landscape that many are not aware of.

Advertising for local businesses is a step in the right direction because of the general reach of the Internet.  “This is about finding people interested in what you have. If people can’t find you on the web they’ll go somewhere else. By purchasing keywords, you present yourself,” said Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, Google vice president for southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  “The Internet can be a very important vehicle for the development of economy and culture…We don’t want the web to be [solely] American or Anglo-Saxon,” he stated.  The Internet in general has not been utilized by the region as much as western countries. Jordan is now a great example to follow.

Another important part of the deal is Google will also invest $2.5 million back into Jordan’s Information Technology sector and various digital media start-ups.  Google also agreed to provide intensive training on online advertising and marketing.  This part of the deal is more important for Jordan because in recent years King Abdullah II has been trying to establish a strong and striving technology sector to boost the nation’s GDP.  The Information and Communication Technology sector contributed an average of 20 percent to the gross domestic product in the past two years.

Jordan has always invested in technology and was one of the leaders in the region which was taken over by the rapid growth of Dubai.  In the past couple of years Jordan has once again reemerged as a science and technology leader.  They have built a very large technology center in Amman, Jordan called King Hussein Business Park.

Last year, Yahoo! took over the Jordan-based, which is the biggest Arabic content provider.  This is a positive sign for further investment in technology infrastructure for Jordan.  These optimistic signs will hopefully push for an interest in the technology sector in the region to produce great innovations.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *