Aqaba Prepares to Welcome Waves of Tourists after Successful 2019
AMMAN — Sixty-three cruise ships docked at the port of Aqaba in 2019, bringing 120,000 tourists; an increase of five ships and 9,000 tourists from 2018, according to the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA).
In an end-of-year report, ASEZA said that tourists from around the world visited the “golden tourism triangle” of Jordan, which consists of Aqaba, Wadi Rum and Petra, as well as other archaeological and heritage sites.
The Commissioner for Tourism and Economic Development at ASEZA Sharhabeel Madi said in a statement that tourism promotion is “an urgent necessity in light of the increasing competition between Jordan and neighbouring countries”, noting that the authority is working to market Jordan in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism.
The golden triangle contributes 75 per cent of the total tourism revenues in the Kingdom and ranks third in terms of the country’s GDP, according to ASEZA figures.
Madi said the golden triangle’s contribution to the Kingdom’s GDP stood at 18 per cent in 2018, noting that work is under way for it to be the biggest contributor by 2025.
He stressed that European tourists have “become confident in the uniqueness of Jordan as a tourism destination”, and that joint tourism programmes planned with several European stakeholders will bring Jordan “at least JD20 million through Aqaba and the rest of the golden triangle”.