Jordan’s tourism witnesses signs of recovery

Jordan’s King Abdullah II, reviews an honor guard before giving a speech to Parliament in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. The king announced “full sovereignty” over two pieces of land leased by Israel, ending a 25-year arrangement spelled out in the countries’ landmark peace agreement. King Abdullah II said Sunday that Jordan would end the “annex of the two areas, Ghumar and Al-Baqoura, in the peace treaty and impose our full sovereignty on every inch of them.” (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

Amman, May 8 (IANS) Jordan’s pandemic-hit tourism industry has shown signs of recovery for the first quarter of 2022 and the Eid ul-Fitr holiday, following massive campaigns to promote the kingdom’s tourism profile and the eased Covid-19 restrictions.

“All figures indicate that the tourism sector is undergoing a recovery… The holiday season during Eid al-Fitr saw a large increase of visitors to various sites across the country, while occupancy rates in hotels of Aqaba and the Dead Sea area exceeded 90 per cent,” Abeer Nauman, economic news editor at the Jordan Press Foundation, told Xinhua news agency on Saturday.

Archaeological and tourist sites in Jordan have received about 190,000 visitors home and abroad for the four-day Eid holiday, state-run Petra news agency reported.

Jordan’s tourism revenues rose by 251 per cent during the first quarter of 2022, reaching $893 million, Tourism Ministry spokesman Ahmad Rifai told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, some 780,000 people visited the kingdom in the first quarter, up by 298 per cent year-on-year, the state-owned Al-Mamlaka TV reported, citing Tourism Minister Nayef Fayez.

“We are on the right track toward the recovery of tourism, and we have exceeded our targets for the first quarter already,” the Minister said.

According to Rifai, the Ministry’s massive promotional campaigns and the adjustment of pandemic-related restrictions in the kingdom have contributed to the recovery.

Noting tourism’s 14 per cent contribution to Jordan’s GDP, Nauman called for more promotional efforts to revitalise the industry and stimulate hotels, restaurants, and transport consumptions.

According to figures by the Economic and Social Council of Jordan, the number of workers in the tourism industry in 2020 reached 21,000.

Abdel Hakim Al-Hindi, head of Jordan Hotel Association, said the hotel occupancy may continue to increase in the near future, because of eased coronavirus restrictions and mild climate of the kingdom.

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