Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wadi Rum

I just came back from my first trip to Wadi Rum and the word amazing does not even come close to describe what I experienced.

Just like everything else in Jordan, this resource is only half heartedly tapped. Government efforts have no more than 15% to do with the moderate success of this place.

I am not suggesting that there is a need for large scale government interference to improve things. Any large scale government inference usually ends up with disastrous results. I formed this opinion after speaking at length with the "tourist guides" in Wadi Rum.

So what am I suggesting? In the very popular business book "The Tipping Point," the author talks about how the accumulation of small changes can make a huge difference. So following the same kind of thinking I would only suggest some very small changes most of which are "cosmetic" in nature . Or as one can learn from the movie "The Prestige," you might have an excellent magic trick, but you need to dress it up and sell it to the audience if you want to make it big and not just be stuck with small crowds.

So here is the list:

· Do some Search engine marketing. I did a search on Google and there was nothing under hiking in the first 30 results. And on top of it when you visit the following site, you get no information under Jordan:

· Consult with the local people as to whether or not they want mobil transmission inside Rum. This is important if someone needs medical help. Currently there is very limited Mobil transmission.

· I asked the local tour guides: "What if someone broke their legs or was stung by a Scorpio?" His answer was that they take him to an "Arab medicine doctor" because there are no medical facilities inside rum.

· After some negotiations, look at the possibilities of training these tour guides in providing first aid and possibly having them carry first aid kits.

· Have some sort of medical helicopter stationed inside Rum to provide rapid medical aid if there is a need to move people to the closest city hospital.

· Provide some guidelines for tourists in terms of what to visit if they are not physically fit.

· Ask the local camp owners/tour guides about what they need to "improve" Rum for tourism and just do it. The impression I got was that no one really consults with them.

Of course, I am not your run of the mill nay sayer who just complains about the government and then does nothing. I just did some cosmetic changes to the Wadi Rum and the Wadi pages in the Wikipedia.

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