Israel’s war on Gaza impact Jordan tourism, sharp decline

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Deputy Chairman of the Jordan Hotel Association (JHA), Hussein Hilalat, confirmed that Israel’s war on Gaza has significantly and negatively affected the tourism sector, especially hotels, in Jordan, Khaberni reported. اضافة اعلان

Hilalat explained that since the start of the war, incoming tourism has witnessed a sharp decline, with hotel occupancy rates dropping drastically. Some hotel establishments in certain areas of the kingdom have completely closed their doors and ceased operations.

In a message to the world, Hilalat emphasized that despite the war in Gaza, the current situation in Jordan remains stable, asserting that Jordan is a safe and attractive tourist destination.

Hilalat highlighted the need for all stakeholders in the tourism sector to provide additional clarifications to travel and tourism agencies worldwide regarding the security and tourism conditions in Jordan. He believed that such clarifications would have a positive impact in instilling confidence and contributing to the revitalization of tourism activities.

He also revealed that joint tourism programs have been directly and significantly affected by the events in Gaza, leading to the cancellation of many reservations and the postponement of trips.  In this scenario, Hilalat stressed the importance of communicating with international agents and clients to provide reassuring explanations about the stability of the tourism situation in Jordan, affirming the continuation of Jordan's tourism programs, emphasizing their safety and stability.

Regarding challenges in the hotel sector, Hilalat proposed clear suggestions concerning current licenses for hotel facilities in Amman Municipality, the municipalities and tourism ministries, and the Tourism Promotion Authority. He addressed operational cost challenges such as rising electricity, energy, and water costs, as well as taxes, financial obligations, and installments on hotel facilities, which are significant pressures on the entire tourism sector. Furthermore, he emphasized that all relevant authorities should consider these issues to find solutions that could rescue those working in the tourism sector.

Hilalat stressed the urgency of implementing measures, such as postponing monthly installments due on hotel facilities, given the current inability to remit them to banks promptly. He also called for a reconsideration of interest rates accrued on loans, focusing on reducing them as much as possible during this period and providing support to the sector by offering low-interest loans in collaboration with the central bank.

Hilalat recommended comprehensive solutions, including tax and fee reductions, exempting hotels from licensing fees, and reducing operating costs. He urged attracting new tourist markets to compensate for losses resulting from recent events. He also suggested reinstating the service charge to 10% to preserve those working in the sector and advocated for the deferral and flexible reconsideration of monthly installments due on hotel facilities.

To preserve job opportunities, Hilalat called for an increase in the percentage of foreign labor in the hotel sector. He concluded by affirming that, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah and with the support of the HRH Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, Jordan takes pride in playing a significant role in supporting the resilience of the people in Palestine, especially in Gaza.

The JHA and its employees stand firmly behind the Hashemite leadership, particularly His Majesty King Abdullah, emphasizing absolute support for his steadfast and resolute positions regarding the Palestinian cause, highlighting the unwavering commitment to these positions.

He emphasized that all Jordanians express their solidarity with the people of Gaza in the face of Israeli aggression and injustice. Jordan will remain a strong support and an impregnable barrier that will not disappoint the people in "wounded" Palestine. This sentiment is reflected in the tourism sector, which is committed to the values of solidarity and support for our beloved people in Palestine.

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