Jordan revenues from tourism increases, ‘was not reflected on the sector’

A general view of the Jerash archeological site. (Photo: Jordan Tourism Board)
AMMAN — The Kingdom’s tourism revenues saw an increase of $158.3 million in January, or 188.4 percent, compared to the same period in 2021, to reach $242.3 million, according to Central Bank of Jordan data issued on Sunday.اضافة اعلان

This is attributed by the CBJ to a rise in the number of tourists in January by about 138,700, bringing the total to 205,500 tourists.
This increase, however, does not seem to reflect on the tourism sector whose workers still suffer from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and call on the government to continue supporting the sector.

President of the Jordan Hotel Association Abdel Hakim Al-Hindi told Jordan News that this increase failed to translate in support for the hospitality industry, adding that “we have been suffering since the onset of the pandemic”.

Hindi also said that Jordan’s being classified as a red country “worsened our situation”, and expressed hope that tourism will pick up in the second half of this year, especially since the government took the recent decision to ease pandemic-related restrictions which will likely help the tourism sector.

“I hope that the second half will witness exceptionally high occupancy rates, to compensate for the losses the hospitality industry incurred during the first half of the year.”

Tour guide Daoud Samaan told Jordan News that many of those who work in the tourism sector have gone broke.

“I am not sure if the tourism income increased or not, what I am sure about is that we did not feel the benefits of this increase and that our situation is getting worse day by day,” he said.

Samaan added that the tourism sector needs a huge improvement so that the workers can stand on their feet again.

“If the situation stays as it is, I believe that hundreds of tour guides, for example, will be in debt.”

“The last two years were very bad, and anything would be better now, but that is not enough. If we really need to move on and see the tourism income increase, new government plans should be developed,” he said.

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities spokesman Ahmad Al-Rifai told Jordan News that the national strategy for tourism, which was launched by Minister Nayef Al-Fayez, aims to support the tourism sector which has been suffering since on the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that, starting with the beginning the year, the government has been implementing part of the strategy, to support the tourism sector, and “this increase in revenues from tourism was expected.”

He also said that the “ministry is looking forward to further increase in the next months, especially since the government had taken the decision to ease restrictions on the sector, which, I can say, shall have a positive impact on the sector”.

Tourism income from non-resident Jordanians constituted 40.7 percent of the total income, followed by income from Arab nationals, with 22.3 percent of the total tourism income; a breakdown of numbers shows that Iraqis contributed 7.7 percent, Syrians 4.0 percent, and Palestinians 3.4 percent.

In third place came tourists from Arab Gulf countries, which contributed 19.8 percent: Saudis 10.4 percent, Kuwaitis 4.5 percent, and Omanis 2.2 percent.

In fourth place came Europeans, mostly from Germany, France, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, and Hungary, with a contribution of 9.2 percent, which makes up a total share of 5.8 percent of the total tourism income.

The US accounted for 2.8 percent of the total tourism income.

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