Problem: Before 2005, Feynan was a struggling hotel owned and run by the NGO that also administers the Dana Biosphere Reserve. Its remote location presented a challenge as well.
Solution: Feynan Ecolodge is a model of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible tourism in Jordan.
Goals and objectives: Minimise the environmental footprint of the hotel, contributing to conservation projects and providing ongoing development opportunities and benefit to members of the local communities.
Implementation: The first ecolodge in Jordan, Feynan Ecolodge was built in 2005. It is co-managed by EcoHotels, a privately owned Jordanian company that is a local pioneer in the ecotourism sector, in partnership with The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature.
Feynan is totally off-grid. The lodge generates 100% of its own electricity through solar panels on the roof, and stores excess power in batteries. Laundry is air-dried, and hot water is heated through the same solar panel heating system. The lodge’s architecture and thick walls promote cool air flow during hot desert days. Though heating is rarely required, olive pit charcoal – jift – is pressed and burned in two fireplaces to provide any necessary heat. This is a recyclable and natural by-product of Jordan’s annual olive harvest. No trees required.
It is the first hotel in the region to eliminate single use plastic bottles. All meals are vegetarian and food waste is composted, while a new wastewater treatment system creates biogas that can be used for cooking and water for irrigation.
Feynan employs all of its staff from the local communities surrounding the Dana Biosphere Reserve. This helps create the uniquely authentic atmosphere in the lodge, while generating much needed income for surrounding communities. In addition, the candle-making and leather workshops on site give four women and a man in the community the opportunity to work to help support their families and showcase their art.
Feynan also sources transportation and other services from the local community through partnerships which provide supplemental income for locals.
Achievements: Feynan Ecolodge is run on 100% sustainable power and 80% of products used at the lodge are purchased from within 60km radius. Feynan directly benefits around 80 families from the local Bedouin community (400 people) and the business has grown by 28% since 2012.
Feynan Ecolodge received the “Golden Award” at the World Travel Market (WTM) Travel and Tourism Awards 2019 in the category of reducing carbon and other greenhouse gases. Feynan Ecolodge was the first to receive the award in the region, following efforts that served to reduce CO2 emissions by 11.13 tonnes annually.
Address: Al-Ba'ouniyah St #8, Jabal Al-Lweibdeh
PO Box 911115, Amman 11191, Jordan
Phone: +962 6 464 5580, +96265850333