More cruise liners, low-cost flights resume trips to Aqaba

12,000 tourists dock in Aqaba in first two months of this year

Aqaba AZESA  ships ship
Undated file photo of a cruise liner visting Aqaba. (Photo:Jordan News)
AMMAN — Twelve cruise ships carrying 12,000 tourists docked in Aqaba in the course of the first two months of this year, according to Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Chief Commissioner Nayef Bakheet.اضافة اعلان

Bakheet told Jordan News on Monday that the tourists included one-day and overnight visitors, adding that during the first three months of 2020, 27,000 tourists had visited this port city before tourism stopped because of restrictions on travel to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, 150,000 tourists visited the Red Sea port city some 350km south of Amman during 2019, according to Bakheet.

ASEZA Deputy Chief Commissioner Sharhabeel Madi told Jordan News that the number of tourists has increased this year and the trend is expected to continue, especially in April, which is high season.

Hotel occupancy also recorded an increase this year, having reached 50 percent, compared to 25–30 percent last year, said Madi.

Tourism, he said, is picking up due to the government’s decision to lift restrictions related to the pandemic, such the requirement of pre-arrival PCR tests.

He added that Aqaba currently receives one cruise liner per week.

Several low-cost airlines have resumed flights to King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, including Wizz Air, Easy Jet, and Ryanair, said Madi, noting that the Turkish Airlines is scheduled to resume flights on March 28 with three flights a week.

Bakheet said that Aqaba has 5,800 hotel rooms, with 800 rooms under construction. He added that ASEZA is currently working on the development of a classification system for apartment hotels and furnished apartments to control the quality of services in this sector.

Aqaba, located at the northern tip of the Red Sea, is the only sea port in Jordan. Usually tourists visit Aqaba as part of a larger tour to Jordan’s “Golden Triangle”, made up of Aqaba, Petra, and Wadi Rum.

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