Tourism has recovered faster than expected, say stakeholders

An undated photo of tourist in Petra. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
AMMAN— The number of tourists is expected to continue to grow in the coming autumn season and the years to come, stakeholders said Saturday.

The Tourism Ministry announced that tourism income reached JD1.2 billion this year until the end of May, exceeding the expectations set in the National Tourism Strategy 2021-2025, which stood at JD1 billion.اضافة اعلان

Petra, Jordan’s largest attraction, witnessed an increase in the numbers of visitors, which are close to those recorded in 2019 (before the COVID-19 pandemic), Chief Commissioner of Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority Suleiman Farajat told Jordan News on Saturday.

The Red-Rose city received a total of 86,000 tourists during the first five months of this year, compared to 87,000 in the same period of 2019, according to Farajat.

In the same period during the two years of the pandemic, Petra received 10,225 in 2021 and no tourist in 2020, the commissioner said. 

Farajat said the expects the number of visitors to Petra in 2022 to reach 75 percent of the number recorded in 2019, when the ancient city celebrated its one-millionth visitor and received 1,135300 tourists in that entire year.

Vice Chairman of the Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association Awni Kawar said that the figures are promising, but they will not reach the numbers achieved in 2019 despite the increasein bookings for September, October, and November.

According to Kawar, most tourists who came this year are from European countries; there is a decline in the number of tourists from Far Asian counties, which still impose travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

Tourism recovery was faster than expected and figures are much better than last year, Mahmoud Khasawneh, member of the board of directors of the Jordan Society for Travel Agents, said.

Based on booking baskets of local and international travel agents, the volume of booking in September, October, and November is close to the volume in 2019, according to Khasawneh.

“In the tourism sector, our aim is to mitigate the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis and reach the figures recorded before the pandemic as soon as possible,” Khasawneh said, adding that “we work in accordance with the World Tourism Organization’s action plan that focuses on restarting tourism”.

He urged intensifying work on marketing plans and campaigns to increase the numbers of visitors to the Kingdom.

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