Aqaba's fresh Rebranding is unveiled: "By Nature"

The Tourism Department of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) has made waves with the launch of its new brand and tagline "By Nature". This succinct but powerful slogan encapsulates the natural splendour of Aqaba and its warm-hearted people and marks a significant shift in the destination's tourism identity.

The launch of Aqaba's new tourism positioning and identity "By Nature" was unveiled at the World Travel Mart 2023 in London at the Jordanian Tourist Board stand. The brand strategy and its execution was carried out as part of the project "Employment-oriented MSME Promotion", implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Kai Partale, commissioned by GOPA Consultants, developed the positioning strategy together with his Jordanian colleagues and oversaw the creation of the brand manual, visuals and promotional materials.


The journey to develop the new positioning for Aqaba

In recent years, Aqaba has developed into a sought-after holiday destination, so that a reassessment and improvement of the strategic positioning for the future seemed necessary. In cooperation with the GIZ project, the ASEZA Tourism Directorate initiated a positioning review process to optimise Aqaba's position in the tourism industry. The focus was on a careful and continuous development of the Aqaba brand without completely neglecting the existing pillars. Instead, these pillars were to be supplemented and further developed.

The primary objective of the review was to identify the main reasons for international tourists visiting Aqaba, the main associations with Aqaba as a destination, Aqaba's main competitors, and Aqaba's competitive advantages and differentiators. This strategy also included identifying Aqaba's core values to shape the positioning.

The positioning strategy relied on qualitative secondary and primary sources that pooled the knowledge, expertise and experience of various stakeholders to develop a targeted positioning for Aqaba.

The project pursued a multi-faceted approach:

  • Secondary research: Conducting basic research on existing information and documents related to the destination's brand and its current positioning.
  • International tourism trends: Analysing key international tourism trends and their potential impact on Jordanian tourism and the destination brand.
  • Stakeholder interviews: Conducting in-depth online interviews with key tourism sector/industry stakeholders in Aqaba, including public and private sector representatives, to understand their views on post-pandemic tourism, the current Aqaba destination brand and key competitors.
  • Online survey: Gathering insights from travel and tourism executives in Jordan and Aqaba through an online survey on current positioning.
  • Opinions of tourists: Interviewing tourists in Aqaba to gather their views on the current positioning.
  • Recommendations and roadmap: Development of recommendations and a short roadmap for the potential rebranding of Aqaba as a tourism destination and the implementation of the rebranding development process.
  • Presentation: Presentation of key findings to the Tourism Committee.
  • Implementation: Support in the development of brand guidelines and their application.


The new identity of Aqaba - "By nature"

The unveiling of Aqaba's new identity now forms the foundation for the full implementation of the marketing strategy and paves the way for future campaigns that will showcase Aqaba's captivating attractions, experiences and services. The new identity is an appreciation of the local Aqabawi culture and promises authentic, immersive experiences for all visitors. This repositioning positions Aqaba in a competitive market and enables tourism businesses to seamlessly integrate their products and services into the new identity.

While Aqaba's natural treasures such as the Red Sea and Wadi Rum remain strong draws for travellers, the new identity opens the doors to greater visibility and enriching experiences. These experiences include various tourism themes, such as diving, community-based tourism offerings, bird watching and more, contributing significantly to the overall growth and sustainability of Aqaba as a destination. "By Nature" eloquently expresses the harmony between the region's stunning natural beauty and the deep human connections rooted in its history, evoking emotions for authentic experiences and a profound sense of belonging.

World Travel Mart 2023 served as a platform that highlighted the exciting transformation of Aqaba and the concerted efforts to establish it as a vibrant and distinctive destination. It was fun to work with ASEZA's Tourism Department on this project, who warmly welcome travellers to explore and experience the remarkable Aqaba "By Nature".

For more information visit Aqaba’s Instagram and Facebook pages.