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June 30 2022 8:24 PM ˚
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Projects expected to stimulate tourism in Jerash

A general photo of the ancient ruins in Jerash. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
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AMMAN — Several tourism projects expected to benefit the Jerash community will be carried out this year in partnership with the government, as part of a strategic plan to develop the tourism sector in Jerash in the 2021–2025 period, said Feras Khatatbeh, director of Jerash Tourism Directorate.اضافة اعلان

Khatatbeh told Jordan News that the maintenance and rehabilitation of the Jerash tourist site and setting up a craft market to support small local businesses are among the projects envisaged.

At the same time, an electronic gate will be installed at the archaeological site to make the site visits smoother as “it will help visitors get tickets, organize their entry and exit, and prepare statistics about the number of visitors,” he said, adding that the gate will help visitors save time, especially “when there are too many tourists in the area.”

The electronic gate, Khatatbeh said, “will achieve a smooth entry and exit process for visitors, without delay or obstacles,” in a manner that spares the visitor the trouble of having to go through different stages for the purpose of the visit and of having to have their tickets stamped manually.

The Jerash Tourism Directorate will implement the accessible tourism project at the site by considering visitors’ health conditions. 

“Special passes and accessible entrances will be provided for people with special needs and the elderly, to facilitate their visit, in addition to other great services,” said Khatatbeh, adding that the directorate has allocated an appropriate amount of money to maintain and modernize the tourist tracks. 

What distinguishes Jerash city is the presence of eco-tourism, adventure tourism, trails, wild tourism, and others, he said, “and this is a real indication of the need to stimulate and encourage tourism in this beautiful city”.

“We are also looking forward to having a four-star hotel, as some tourists are still not encouraged to sleep in the city because of its proximity to Amman,” he said.

Khatatbeh said that tourism started to grow after initial shock of the corona pandemic, and “one of the reasons for this improvement is the effort exerted by the inspection cadres from the Tourism Directorate to ensure that tourists adhere to all safety measures that contribute to reducing infections and thus help increase the number of visitors”.

However, Dirar Atmeh, a tourist guide, told Jordan News that the tourism in Jerash is still affected by the global pandemic, as well as by some government decisions, like the mandatory two doses of vaccine to enter any tourist site.

At the same time, he said, “tourists come to the city only on some special occasions, like Christmas, New Year’s eve and holidays, which is not enough”, adding that the city needs improvements, such as adding more hotels and restaurants to encourage tourists from all over the world to come.

“Some tourists say that Jerash is near to Amman, and so they prefer to sleep in Amman and spend just a couple of hours in the city. If they find a good hotel to sleep in, they may change their minds,” said Atmeh.

Daoud Samaan, another tourist guide, said that government decisions affected tourism not only in Jerash, but in all other governorates, adding that many tourists canceled their visit to Jordan, “which is a bad sign that indicates that the government should take better decisions to deal with the epidemiological situation and thus encourage tourists to come”.

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