Although often underestimated, hiking trails can contribute significantly to tourism development as is the case in Western countries and special hiking destinations such as Nepal, Switzerland and Jordan with our Hiking Guide.
Hiking tourism has many positive spin-off effects such as job creation (local guides, transportation, nature conservation), direct income creation for hotels and restaurants and community stabilization.
Did you know that in Switzerland for example approximately 66,200 km of hiking trails is being maintained for approximately 2.4 million hikers annually. These hikers generate some 41.5 million hiking days per year of which 95% by the Swiss population. In Switzerland alone, 430,000 hikers from abroad hike some 2,260,000 days annually.
Approximately $1.6 billion is disbursed by the hikers annually while building and maintaining the hiking trails costs the Swiss $53 million annually.
The math is easy to understand: hiking can substantially contribute to the economy of a country. As stated by a Swiss study, "overall, there is good reason to believe that, from the points of view of both individuals and society, the total benefits of hiking are considerably higher than the costs" (Sommer et al., 2011).
In comparison, the hiking industry has not been developed in Jordan, but has great economic potential. Thanks to people like you who explore the opportunities of hiking in Jordan, we hope more demand for tourism will positively contribute to the economic development of the country.
The 400 km of hiking trails in Jordan we have described in the guide are a good start and certainly among the best in the world.
Benefits and costs of hiking from the economic point of view (schematic diagram)
Source: Sommer et al. (2011)
- Heini Sommer, Matthias Amacher, Marcel Buffat: The economic essentials of Swiss hiking trails (summary). Swiss Federal Roads Office and Schweizer Wanderwege, Bern 2011.
- Cole, David N. 2004. Impacts of hiking and camping on soils and vegetation: a review. In: Buckley, Ralf (ed.) Environmental impacts of ecotourism. CAB International: Wallingford UK: 41-60.