Tourism experts push for domestic travel amid regional challenges

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(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Officials and workers in the tourism sector advocated for a shift in focus towards domestic tourism, citing it as a crucial element in sustaining the sector and mitigating the impact of reduced foreign tourism amid regional, global, and health crises, Hala News reported.اضافة اعلان

They highlight the significant role domestic tourism plays in stimulating the local economy, creating job opportunities within the tourism sector, and increasing citizens' awareness of the importance of preserving local archaeological and tourist sites.

President of Jordan’s Society of Travel and Tourism Agents (JSTA), Suhail Halaseh emphasized that enhancing domestic tourism necessitates the development of tourism infrastructure, effective marketing strategies, offering new experiences for visitors, and providing high-quality services to ensure a unique tourism experience. He also stressed the importance of providing incentives and discounts to encourage citizens to explore archaeological and tourist sites across governorates, as well as fostering effective communication channels to gather feedback and suggestions from citizens to enhance community engagement in domestic tourism opportunities.

Halaseh underscored the significance of strengthening cooperation between the public and private sectors, promoting innovation in tourism, organizing cultural events to attract citizen interest, enhancing awareness of local tourism resources, and investing efforts in improving the environment and preserving nature to enhance the attractiveness of tourist destinations.

On his part, Deputy Chairman of the Jordan Hotel Association (JHA), Hussein Hilalat emphasized that domestic tourism contributes significantly to boosting local economic activities across various sectors such as hotels, restaurants, and traditional shops. He also highlighted its role in promoting national and cultural identity by encouraging citizens to explore their heritage and archaeological landmarks within the country.

"To encourage domestic tourism in the Kingdom, it is essential to launch marketing campaigns and promotional programs for domestic tourist destinations, provide special discounts and offers for citizens in hotels, restaurants, and transportation, organize sports and recreational events to attract them, and invest in improving roads, parking lots, and tourist facilities to enhance the tourist experience," Hilalat suggested.

He commended the 'Jordan is Paradise' program for domestic tourism, supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB), noting the JHA’s collaboration in offering preferential rates for citizens participating in program trips.

Meanwhile, CEO of Dallas Travel and Aviation Company, Amjad Al-Malamani called for a focus on enhancing visitor services and developing tourist facilities. He stresseed the importance of openness with the private sector and genuine collaboration, listening to their opinions and feedback to improve internal program initiatives of the 'Jordan is Paradise' program, and providing facilities to cooperating companies in organizing the program.

Moreover, the Owner of Montana Travel and Tourism, Ashraf Hamad underscored the need to support tourism sector operators such as travel agencies, hotels, and restaurants to enable them to offer domestic tours at affordable prices. Additionally, he noted the growing interest in trips organized by the Jordan is Paradise' program to southern areas due to their affordability, highlighting accessible tourism programs covering all Jordan’s governorates.

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