Jordan & Portugal at MILT Congress 2019

The MICE India & Luxury Travel Congress 2019 is an exclusive, by-invitation only event that brings together decision makers from India’s leading corporations involved in finalizing MICE & Luxury Travel activities. This is the only event in India which includes significant Indian Luxury – Corporates, Event Management Companies and Wedding Planners, together under one roof.

India is anticipated to become one of the most important outbound markets for global MICE and luxury tourism. The market is expected to generate over 2 Million outbound MICE tourists by 2020; and India’s Outbound MICE Tourism is estimated to reach US$ 9 Billion by 2025.

At the 2-city edition of MILT Congress 2019, Delhi and Mumbai, we presented 2 of our client destinations – Jordan and Portugal. We successfully consolidated/ opened new relationships with potential Buyers – Corporates, Event Management Companies, Film Makers, and Travel Agents. Think Strawberries provided end-to-end management and continuous support for lead closures.

Profiling Jordan By Positioning It’s Cuisine

It is a traveler’s paradise of warm and welcoming people, nature, history, and for foodies an eclectic spread of delectable cuisines at the confluence of traditional Islamic and Mediterranean. In India, with growing affluence fueling a strong surge in outbound travel – the challenge was to take a rightful share of this pie – by developing a strong imagery for Jordan, locally, and with high profile opinion leader segments. This would in turn dial-up aspiration for the destination.

Our Objective was to showcase the richness and mystique of Jordan and position it as a fascinating destination through a high profile Food & Photo Exhibition touching a large number of select audience of ‘movers & shakers’, media and key travel partners.

Think Strawberries built a no-cost alliance with Zerzura Delhi’s top, very premium Middle-Eastern restaurant. Together, a showcase menu was developed for a month long ‘Food Festival’.

There was no cost agreement for the F & B or use of premises of Zerzura. A grand launch event was planned with HE Ambassador of Jordan, former Indian Ambassador to Jordan. Other diplomats, influential persons, socialites were also brought together. Award winning photos presenting a panorama of Jordan were exhibited around the festival. A spa with Dead Sea mud & salt packets as treatments and giveaways, was also set-up to enhance the experience. A belly dancer live performances was included to add to the feel, culture and ambience.

The prominence of this exclusive ‘social event’ kicked off the momentum for month long success. Media coverage was also heavily driven across all genres. An a plus point to add to the glam and excitement of this event, Petra was brought to Delhi – a dramatic wooden façade created in-house by Think Strawberries for the entrance to the Festival. All Themed invitations, EDM’s, Props, Media Wall and Digital Banners were designed aligning a synergy.

Building Conversations for Jordan in India with Twitter

Jordan is an amazing destination, home to a wealth of 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Petra one of the 7 wonders of the world, and also well known as the Biblical Holy land, offering a unique mix of rich history and culture. The country also has high adventures like taking a hot air balloon ride over Wadi Rum or camping like a Martian on its Mars like terrain, to floating in the wellness of the Dead Sea. It is a traveler’s paradise of warm and welcoming people, nature, history, and for foodies an eclectic spread of delectable cuisines.

In India, despite growing affluence fueling a strong surge in outbound travel, Jordan was not finding a place in traveler itineraries – due to low familiarity with the destination.

Hence, to initiate conversations and build familiarity at consistent intervals over a defined timeline of 1 year, with different groups of influencers and end consumers, at no additional cost; Think Strawberries designed a 3 step campaign to showcase Jordan’s diverse offerings & experiences for the social media.

#ByondJordan The first step was to build awareness about the destination by sharing general information like visa procedures, places to see, how to get to Jordan, travel tips, etc. A chat was hosted by India’s top 3 Travel Bloggers who also had the experience of traveling to Jordan before – namely Lakshmi Sharath, Prasad Np and Mridula Dwivedi, on Twitter.

#JordanExplorers This Twitter chat was conducted to continue engagement and leverage all bloggers and journalists who had travelled over the past 3 years on a FAM trip with the Jordan Tourism Board. The chat’s objective was to talk about the country, experiences from each one’s visit and share learnings/travel tips for the potential Jordan travelers, as well as security – which was also coming up as a concern.

#MusafirDilJordan The final step was to bring together 2 key stakeholders for outbound tourism – Airlines & Travel Agents, in combination with the social media influencers. We had Air Arabia, Byond Travel and India’s top 10 influencers spin the conversation. The incoming interest and leads generated were captured in real time and immediately redirected to Byond Travel for closure. This chat too was extremely beneficial and top most trending during the week.

The campaign was immensely successful, leading to Jordan being on travelers’ minds and featuring on many Top Travel lists. Many expressed an interest to visit Jordan in 2015-2016 whilst others reminisced about their holiday in Jordan. Twitter traffic showed a formidable spike during the hour of the Twitter Chats and built traffic to our website.

Profiling Jordan By Positioning It’s Cuisine

It is a traveler’s paradise of warm and welcoming people, nature, history, and for foodies an eclectic spread of delectable cuisines at the confluence of traditional Islamic and Mediterranean. In India, with growing affluence fueling a strong surge in outbound travel – the challenge was to take a rightful share of this pie – by developing a strong imagery for Jordan, locally, and with high profile opinion leader segments. This would in turn dial-up aspiration for the destination.

Our Objective was to showcase the richness and mystique of Jordan and position it as a fascinating destination through a high profile Food & Photo Exhibition touching a large number of select audience of ‘movers & shakers’, media and key travel partners.

Think Strawberries built a no-cost alliance with Zerzura Delhi’s top, very premium Middle-Eastern restaurant. Together, a showcase menu was developed for a month long ‘Food Festival’.

There was no cost agreement for the F & B or use of premises of Zerzura. A grand launch event was planned with HE Ambassador of Jordan, former Indian Ambassador to Jordan. Other diplomats, influential persons, socialites were also brought together. Award winning photos presenting a panorama of Jordan were exhibited around the festival. A spa with Dead Sea mud & salt packets as treatments and giveaways, was also set-up to enhance the experience. A belly dancer live performances was included to add to the feel, culture and ambience.

The prominence of this exclusive ‘social event’ kicked off the momentum for month long success. Media coverage was also heavily driven across all genres. An a plus point to add to the glam and excitement of this event, Petra was brought to Delhi – a dramatic wooden façade created in-house by Think Strawberries for the entrance to the Festival. All Themed invitations, EDM’s, Props, Media Wall and Digital Banners were designed aligning a synergy.

Building Conversations for Jordan in India with Twitter

Jordan is an amazing destination, home to a wealth of 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Petra one of the 7 wonders of the world, and also well known as the Biblical Holy land, offering a unique mix of rich history and culture. The country also has high adventures like taking a hot air balloon ride over Wadi Rum or camping like a Martian on its Mars like terrain, to floating in the wellness of the Dead Sea. It is a traveler’s paradise of warm and welcoming people, nature, history, and for foodies an eclectic spread of delectable cuisines.

In India, despite growing affluence fueling a strong surge in outbound travel, Jordan was not finding a place in traveler itineraries – due to low familiarity with the destination.

Hence, to initiate conversations and build familiarity at consistent intervals over a defined timeline of 1 year, with different groups of influencers and end consumers, at no additional cost; Think Strawberries designed a 3 step campaign to showcase Jordan’s diverse offerings & experiences for the social media.

  1.  #ByondJordan The first step was to build awareness about the destination by sharing general information like visa procedures, places to see, how to get to Jordan, travel tips, etc. A chat was hosted by India’s top 3 Travel Bloggers who also had the experience of traveling to Jordan before – namely Lakshmi Sharath, Prasad Np and Mridula Dwivedi, on Twitter.
  2. #JordanExplorers This Twitter chat was conducted to continue engagement and leverage all bloggers and journalists who had travelled over the past 3 years on a FAM trip with the Jordan Tourism Board. The chat’s objective was to talk about the country, experiences from each one’s visit and share learnings/travel tips for the potential Jordan travelers, as well as security – which was also coming up as a concern.
  3. #MusafirDilJordan The final step was to bring together 2 key stakeholders for outbound tourism – Airlines & Travel Agents, in combination with the social media influencers. We had Air Arabia, Byond Travel and India’s top 10 influencers spin the conversation. The incoming interest and leads generated were captured in real time and immediately redirected to Byond Travel for closure. This chat too was extremely beneficial and top most trending during the week.

The campaign was immensely successful, leading to Jordan being on travelers’ minds and featuring on many Top Travel lists. Many expressed an interest to visit Jordan in 2015-2016 whilst others reminisced about their holiday in Jordan. Twitter traffic showed a formidable spike during the hour of the Twitter Chats and built traffic to our website.

Love Affair With Jordanian Food

There is no mistaking the fact that Jordan is a Kingdom steeped in history and culture.
Wherever you are in Jordan, you’re never too far away from a conversation about food. Every meal in Jordan can turn into a multi-course feast where several different small dishes are served for a combination of flavors.

A local family enjoying Mansaf

Jordanian cuisine caters to every need and fancy of an average foodie – from the fine diners to street food enthusiasts, from meat lovers to vegetarians and from savory bites to sweet cravings – the sky is the limit in experiencing different Jordanian dishes.

Jordan Restaurant

Jordanian food, with its culinary bonds with Arabic and Mediterranean countries, is not just nourishment for the soul; it is an experience that brings people closer over the course of a meal. Most Jordanian dishes, like mezze, are served on a large platter and shared communally with everyone on the table. Post awkwardness (as possibly felt by a first timer), it is an experience one learns to truly enjoy and cherish.

Tawaheen Al Hawa Restaurant

Those looking for a dramatic flare to their dining experience should try Zarb – a Bedouin Barbecue feast that is cooked underground. For Zarb, the meat and vegetables are marinated with a blend of spices and placed on a tray, which is moved into a preheated oven underground. The results are phenomenal, giving the meat a tender and smoky flavor, with perfectly cooked vegetables.

Jordanian Food Hummus

Only dishes to shadow Zarb, in history and symbolism, is Mansaf, meaning “large dish”, which stands proud as Jordan’s national dish. It is a rich and plentiful mélange of rice, lamb and rehydrated yogurt. Similar to Mansaf, Maqluba’s name defines it, with it literally meaning “upside down” in Arabic. Prepared in a pot with all ingredients of meat, rice and fried vegetables placed in separate layers, the Maqluba dish is turned upside down on the plate once it is cooked and ready to be served.

Jordanian Kibbeh

Fellow herbivores fret not! The common misconception about Jordanian cuisine is that there is a plethora of non-vegetarians options to choose from, but only a handful of dishes for vegetarians. In reality, Jordanian food relies a lot on fresh vegetables, beans, pulses and yogurt, hosting internationally famous dishes like Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and Falafel.

Mount Nebo

Proceed to fall into a food coma only after indulging in Jordan’s national dessert, Kanafeh, a rich Levantine dessert made with white cheese, topped with crunchy pastry and drenched in sweet syrup.

Couple enjoying on Dead Sea

Needless to say, food is an extremely integral part of Jordanian culture, but each meal is almost certainly going to help you meet and mingle with some of the most hospitable and friendly people in the world.