Tourism figures exceed target, predictions for more increases

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(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Income from tourism and the number of sightseers to the Kingdom this year exceeded the target numbers, the minister of tourism and antiquities said, as experts in the industry forecast better numbers in the future.اضافة اعلان

Nayef Al-Fayez said the number of tourists reached 2.36 million in the first quarter of this year, a 90 percent increase over the corresponding period two years ago. He said the ministry had expected 1.9 million tourists this year.

Fayez said data by the Central Bank of Jordan showed that tourism generated JD1.9 billion in 2021, a 90 percent increase over the previous year, when tourism revenue dwindled to JD1 billion under COVID-19 restrictions.

In 2019, tourism revenue recorded JD4.1 billion, according to data obtained from the ministry of tourism.

Sulaiman Al-Farajat, chairman of Petra Development Tourism Regional Authority, predicted more income to be generated this year.

“Based on the current indicators, tourism income will increase this year due to the high number of tourists, especially foreigners,” he told Jordan News.

Awni Kawar, president of Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association, also said the tourism sector should anticipate a bigger income this year. “I expect that the tourism income will see a gradual increase especially that the tourism situation has already begun to improve.”

But Kawar insisted that the tourism income will not reach what the level recorded in 2019 at the time being. “It is expected that the income will reach nearly JD2 billion by the end of this year,” he said.

Tour guide Atef Al-Zeidan said the “the increase in tourism income is expected, especially in light of the tourism boom that Jordan has witnessed since the beginning of the year.”

“It will also reflect positively on workers in the tourism sector, but it will take some more time,” he told Jordan News.

“Workers in the tourism sector lived very difficult days during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this was also reflected on the tourist facilities and the general tourist situation in the Kingdom,” he explained.

He called on the government to attract more tourists to the Kingdom and “establish and develop more tourist facilities so that tourism income continues to rise in the coming years.”

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