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August 15 2022 4:23 AM ˚
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Jordan to be promoted as stand-alone destination for French pilgrims

4. French Pilgrims
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
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AMMAN — The visit of a delegation of French pilgrims highlights Jordan’s position on the global map for faith-based tourism, contributes to increasing the number of visitors and extending the length of their stay, tourism officials affirmed.اضافة اعلان

On Monday, a delegation of French Christian pilgrims from France concluded a visit to Jordan upon an invitation from the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB).

The delegates, who represent several pilgrimage agencies in France, paid several visits to archeological sites and held meetings with tourism stakeholders including Minister of Tourism Nayef Fayez, JTB managing director Abdul Razzaq Arabiat, directors of archeological sites, travel agents, and others.

The sites they visited included Jerash, Mar Elias and Mount Nebo and Church of the Lady of the Mountain in Anjara, Ajloun, and the Baptism site where they performed masses.

Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, Father Rifaat Badr said that “after this visit, the French started thinking of doubling Jordan’s share of visits and number of night’s pilgrims would stay.”

Badr said that Jordan will become a stand-alone destination instead of being part of combined trips that include other countries.

This visit is important for the Kingdom’s tourism as it helps making the Jordanian sites more popular in Europe not only in France, member of the board of directors of Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents Mahmoud Khasawneh said.

It came in the right time after the crisis caused by COVID-19 and will have a direct positive impact on increasing the numbers of tourists when tourism returns to normal, said Khasawneh.

He noted that around 17 Jordanian travel agents met with the delegates and discussed means of cooperation to plan and conduct future trips.

According to Kasawneh, the visit came as a stage of a plan by JTB to promote faith-based tourism in Jordan, calling for following up on the plan to ensure increasing the numbers of visitors in this type of tourism.

Imad Haddad, a travel agent, described the visit as positive, as it contributes to introducing Jordan to the European countries as a core pilgrimage destination.

Jordan is a part of the Holy Land and has more than 260 Biblical sites including the Baptism Sites of Jesus Christ, Mount Nebo, Machareus, Mar Elias, and the Church of the Lady of the Mountain which are five pilgrimage sites designated by the Catholic Church, Haddad told Jordan News.

Mohammad Hammad, a tourist guide who accompanied the delegation during the week-long visit, said that his guests were impressed with everything in Jordan especially safety measures and organization.

Hammad said the existence of several Christian pilgrimage sites, specifically the five sites that were chosen by the Catholic Church in the year 2000, motivated the delegates to decide marketing Jordan as a stand-alone destination for Christian pilgrimage.

In the past, most pilgrimage visits were part of a combined trip to many countries including Jordan.

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