Middle East

Jordan Tourism in a revival mode, amidst safety concerns

Mount Nebo, Jordan

Tourism industry of Jordan is in a revival mode, after years of safety concerns due to regional instabilities. Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat, Tourism Board General Director, said that the country has been witnessing increase in the number of inbound tourists during the past eight months of the year.  There is a recorded 12 per cent increase in the number of tourists who stayed in the Kingdom, while the income from tourism also increased by 14 per cent.

“We have been implementing a new strategy using social media to change the mentality of tourists and convince them that Jordan is safe and offers diverse attractions,” said Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat.

Petra, Jordan

Tourist places like Petra are receiving more tourists in recent times. “We heard so much about Petra and we wanted to see it. Coming to Petra was a great experience and we wanted to see other places,” said Terence Killeen, an Irish tourist, adding that Jordan is seen as a safe place to visit.

As per the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB), apart from Petra, Mount Nebo, Amman Citadel and bustling downtown Amman have also received a great number of visitors since the beginning of this year.

“Hotels in Petra are witnessing great demand in the last quarter of this year and in the beginning of next year there will be no available rooms,” said the JTB official.

“King Hussein Airport used to have very limited number of flights in the past two years. Now between 28 and 30 flights will be operated at the airport weekly so we are optimistic that next year it is likely to increase,” said Arabiyat.

Amman Citadel

Tour operators also confirm that the situation in the country is now positive and they are receiving increased responses from tourist from the Middle East and the European countries

“This comes following the promotional programmes implemented by the private sector and the plans followed by JTB. Usually promotion did either online or by participating in tourist exhibitions abroad,” said Nabih Riyal, managing director of Plaza Tours and a member of the Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents.

“However, the sector is suffering from lack of infrastructure such as transportation amidst the growing number of tourists,” added Riyal.

Mount Nebo has the sought after site among the tourist places of Jordan, where the number of tourists has increased remarkably during the first half of the year.

“According to the statistics from January to July, Mount Nebo became first among sites in Jordan with an increase of tourists by 149 per cent compared to last year. We hope that we will be in this level,” said Father Ammar Shahin, the director of the Mount Nebo site.