Low-cost airlines revitalize tourism to Jordan

Tourists stand near columns in the Roman ruin city of Jerash. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — About 100,000 tourists arrived in Jordan on low-cost flights in the first five months of the year, according to Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat, the director general of the Jordan Tourism Board.اضافة اعلان

He said that Jordanian tourists aboard these flights made up 15 percent of the total number of visitors.

He said that the low-cost airlines coming to Jordan operate unscheduled flights from 15 countries, including 14 European nations, as well as regular flights from 25 international airports.

Experts in the tourism sector said that low-cost airlines play a key role in increasing the number of sightseers to Jordan and hiking the country’s tourism income. They agreed that tourists arriving on low-cost flights contributed directly to the support and revitalization of Jordan’s tourism and economy.

President of the Jordan Hotel Association Abdel Hakim Al-Hindi said that low-cost travel is “an essential and important way to increase the number of tourists coming to the Kingdom and revive the economy in general by increasing tourism income.”

He said that low-cost airlines such as Ryan Air, EasyJet, and Wizz Air “offer flights at low prices and incur a lot of fees for basic luxuries, such as the extra luggage or more legroom, but still attract passengers” over more expensive airlines.

“The increase in demand for low-cost airlines, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, is the result of their low prices,” he said.

He said that “contracting low-cost airlines is part of the announced government plan, which Jordan Tourism Board is currently working on, to attract 4.5 million tourists by 2023”.

Hindi said that “all types of hotel establishments have benefited, especially in the Golden Triangle area, and the benefit was in varying proportions. ... Small and medium-sized hotels benefited most — three-star hotels and below.”

The Golden Triangle comprises Wadi Rum, Aqaba, and Petra.

“Of course, this had a positive impact on the high occupancy rates in these categories,” he added.

Sulaiman Al-Farajat, chairman of Petra Development Tourism Regional Authority, confirmed that “low-cost flying had a positive impact on increasing tourism income for the Kingdom.”

He said that the impact of low-cost flights on the Kingdom’s income from tourism “is clear”, adding that Jordan’s tourism income has seen a “remarkable increase” as a result.

Tour guide Daoud Al-Samaan told Jordan News that “the presence of low-cost aviation was necessary to revitalize tourism in Jordan, especially in light of the difficult conditions and the recession experienced by the tourism sector in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He pointed out that “Jordan is a beautiful country characterized by many touristic places that attract tourists, and what was missing was a real and big advertisement for this beautiful country in order to be a global destination for tourists from different countries.”

“We look forward to attracting more tourists in the coming months and years, and that is why all those working in the tourism sector should make great efforts to improve conditions and encourage tourists to always come to Jordan,” he said.

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