EcoHotels works with a clear set of values and a mission to contribute to the socio-economic development of the areas it works in. The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature’s (RSCN), the owner of the lodge and conservation management organization, also sets policies on the relationship of the reserve and lodge with the local communities.
Hiring locally and investing in socio-economic initiatives
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.
Partnering with the local community to provide additional services
Feynan also sources services from the local community through partnerships which provide supplemental income for locals.
- Local drivers provide shuttle services to and from the lodge in their own pickups in their free time. All the money paid by the guests for this service is given to the driver. This service benefits more than 45 families from the local Bedouin community
- Feynan purchases most of its food supplies locally from the nearby village.
- The bread the lodge serves is also supplied by a local Bedouin woman, Um Khalid, who bakes the bread from her family tent.
- All the candles that light the lodge at night and the leather furniture items around the lodge are purchased from the onsite leather and candle workshops.
- A shop at the lodge also showcases and sells a great deal of artisan crafts and artwork from local communities of Jordan’s nature reserves.
- EcoHotels introduced Bedouin cultural experiences that give guests insight into the Bedouin traditional way of living and provide the local community with additional economic support such as the “Bedouin experience” and the “Day with a shepherd". The fee for these activities goes directly to the family who hosted the experience
- The clay water jars used at the lodge instead of plastic water bottles are purchased from a women's cooperative close to Petra where local women make pottery items to earn an income
- Over 80% of food and other supplies are purchased from within a 40 km radius of the lodge
Feynan directly benefits around 80 families from the local community (400 people).