Madaba, Arab tourism capital in 2022

Visited by more than 50,000 tourists since the start of the year

1. Madaba Nesreen
An undated photo of a mosaic at the Madaba Archeological Park. (Photo: Jordan Tourism Board)
AMMAN — Following the recent easing of measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists visiting Madaba Governorate has seen a "steady increase". اضافة اعلان

In March alone, 30,785 people visited the governorate, whereas 51,208 tourists have visited since the beginning of this year.

Madaba, which has been designated the Arab tourism capital for the year 2022, has tourist and archaeological landmarks, pilgrimage routes and sites, and offers religious and medical tourism.

The Jordan Tourism Board works to promote tourism in Madaba by capitalizing on its unique religious tourism component, attracting pioneering investment projects in a variety of fields, and investing in the city's unique natural, cultural, and religious resources, while increasing job opportunities and reducing unemployment, JTB General Director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat told Jordan News.

“The JTB wants to make Madaba a center for cultural and religious heritage, as well as a home for mosaics and handicrafts in the Kingdom,” he said, adding that “Madaba is a city with a lot of history, archaeological, and religious monuments, as well as beautiful natural landscapes like valleys and mountains”.

As part of its work to put Jordan on the map as a popular tourism destination, the JTB implemented the "Urdonna Jannah" program, which helped revitalize domestic tourism in Madaba by organizing tourist tours and daily trips for citizens, on buses prepared for this purpose.

"The governorate of Madaba witnessed the presence of numerous and large groups of foreign tourists,” which helped increase hotel occupancy rates, Chairman of the Jordan Hotels association Abdul Hakeem Al-Hindi said, adding that such visits "will expand job opportunities and reduce unemployment".

"The primary concern at the moment is to recover from the pandemic losses, which, according to studies and predictions, will take at least three years. Hotels are committed to paying their bills on time,” he said.

Member of the Tourist Guides Association Osama Twal agreed that the increase in the number of tourists is real and beneficial, noting that Mount Nebo is attracting more visitors than other tourist attractions in Madaba, like, "for example, the Madaba Archaeological Park, one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Jordan, which includes the Mosaic Museum, the Burning Palace, and the Church of the Apostles”.

He added that approximately 6 to 7 percent of tourists to Madaba usually visit the Madaba Mosaic Map, part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine Church of Saint George.

Twal said that the "JD3 admission fee can be reduced or divided into three parts for the purpose of promoting tourism". He also said that officials should establish a special office for tour guides in Madaba, at the Madaba Visitors Center, in order to improve the guides' working conditions by making them similar to those in the capital and neighboring governorates.

Wael Jainini, director of Madaba Tourism, said on Al-Mamlaka TV that there are positive indications that tourism will return to its pre-corona pandemic levels, noting that the Mount Nebo site attracted the highest number of tourists.

The number of tourists is expected to grow significantly this month as well, he said, adding that other tourist destinations have also seen an increase in the number of visitors since the start of the year.

The Madaba Mosaic map at St. George church received 35,156 visitors, the Madaba Visitor Center received 16,363 visitors, the Dead Sea Panorama received 9,269 visitors, and the Mukawar Historic Site received 719 visitors so far this year.

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