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Tourists Flock to Kingdom as Istanbul Beckons Jordanians During Holiday Season

 AMMAN — Istanbul, Sharm El Sheikh and Prague top Jordanians preferred destinations during this holiday season, according to travel agencies.

 Istanbul is the “most booked destination," travel agents told The Jordan Times.

 Many flights are booked to European cities as well, especially after establishing the new airlines connecting the Kingdom with Europe, Rashed Sandoqa, an outbound sales executive at travel agency, said.

 He added that the number of outbound tourists during this high season could total approximately 100,000 to 150,000, as his agency alone booked trips for over 200 travellers.

 The outbound tourism this year is “better” than last year which could be attributed to the affordable prices and deals provided by competing travel agencies, according to Sandoqa.

 He added that the Kingdom, as well, is a tourist destination for both locals and foreigners during the New Year season, as tourists enjoy trips to Petra ,Aqaba ,Jerash, Ajloun,Wadi Rum ,Dead Sea , and other Jordanian attractions.

 Touching on inbound tourism and its high booking rates, Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents (JSTA) President Mohammad Samih told the Jordan Times on Tuesday that tourists intending to spend New Year in Jordan arrived before Christmas and are expected to stay until January 6.

 The average stay of tourists visiting various Jordanian landmarks is between five to seven nights, Samih said, underscoring that Petra s hotel rooms are currently fully occupied.

 He added that the outbound tourism turnout is low, as fewer trips were booked during this year s New Year season compared with last year s.

 Royal Jordanian Spokesperson Basel Kilani said that during this time of year, a “vigorous” tourism movement can be observed at the airport. He added that the demand on trips increases in holiday seasons, especially to America, Europe, and the Arab Gulf countries.