Jordan Sees Growth In Tourist Revenues As Marketing Campaign Bears Fruits

July 28, 2017

AMMAN — Jordan is exerting efforts to attract more tourists to the country and increase the sector’s revenues, which witnessed an increase in the first half of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
Recent figures from the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) showed that Jordan’s tourism revenues witnessed a 14.5 per cent growth in the past six months, totalling $2.1 billion, which Tourism Minister Lina Annab attributed to the increase in the number of tourists coming from various markets.
The minister highlighted the growth in the number of tourists coming from the Asia-Pacific region, followed by North America and Europe.
“The Ministry of Tourism has been centering its efforts on the improvement of Jordan’s online presence, along with the distribution of brochures targeted to the Asian and European markets,” she told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.
Annab added that the ministry has been working on “breaking the negative stereotypes caused by the lack of understanding from foreign media outlets”.
“Following this idea, the marketing model has shifted to a segmentation of the types of experiences that Jordan has to offer, with a strong focus on religious and adventure tourism,” she said.
However, adventurous and religious locations are not the only attractions sparking the interest of tourists.
Tourists have voiced their satisfaction in visiting the various attractions of Jordan.
“I think children and adventure don’t make sense together,” said Bansari Barot, an Indian tourist who is visiting Jordan with her husband and child.
 “We would love to go for adventures, but this time, we are doing a more luxurious and kid-friendly type of tourism,” Barot told The Jordan Times.
Naoya Kioka, a Japanese tourist, booked a trip to Jordan with one purpose in mind: “I wanted to see Petra. I’ve been waiting for this for years.”
Tourists from the MENA region are also present in Jordan this summer. “It is very different from my country,” says Yasmin, a young Egyptian woman who is visiting the Kingdom with her family. “Jordan is very famous; we love it here. The weather is good and the people are so good too!” adds her mother, Amal Abd Alla.
However, the increase in the tourism revenue does not seem to have been reflected in the prosperity of the travel agencies in the Kingdom.
Hadi Abu Soud, vice president of Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents, told The Jordan Times that, even though it is true that there has been a rise in the revenue, it appears to be “conservative when compared to 2011, in terms of traffic or activity”, without a significant growth in employment or investment in the travel agencies market.
“It is a work in progress that still needs further development,” the tourism minister said, adding that the ministry is working on creating joint programmes with Lebanon and Egypt — which have the potential to attract international visitors who usually visit this part of the world only once in their lifetime.
In addition, Annab said her ministry just started implementing the 2017-2021 National Tourism Strategy, which is focused on identifying sector needs and priorities for each governorate, “enabling local communities to create business opportunities and products with a higher demand”.
When it comes to the future of the tourism sector in Jordan, the minister added that restructuring the National Tourism Council under the 2017 amended Tourism Law will “play a big role” in its development, explaining that the council will be responsible for drawing the general tourist policy in the Kingdom, endorsing the necessary programmes to implement the policy and drawing tourist awareness and training plans.
Annab noted that Amman will host the first regional conference on tourism in MENA cities, where several investment projects in Jordan are expected to be announced along with success stories of joint projects.
Jordan Times
July 24, 2017