Tourism Revenues Surpass $5-Billion Mark in 2018

by Haneen Nofal
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 AMMAN – Tourism revenues have surpassed the $5-billion mark in 2018, marking an 8 per cent increase from last year’s $4.6 billion, according to data released by the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) on Monday.

 The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement, carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that the sector is continuing to achieve more gains marked by a continuous rise in performance indicators, and that the ministry is moving forward within the Royal directives and the government’s support towards scaling up tourism in the Kingdom, in terms of achieving its developmental goals and economic role.

 The tourism sector’s performance indicators showed a rise in the number of overnight tourists, which reached about 860 million by the end of November 2018, constituting an increase of 8 per cent compared with the same period of 2017, while the number of one-day visitors was 721,325, up by 7.8 per cent from the same period last year, the statement added.

 Petra’s visitors reached some 800,000 by the end of November 2018, marking a 33 per cent rise, while the number of visitors to Jerash saw a 30-per cent increase to reach 308,000.

 Wadi Rum followed with 225,000 visitors, up by 36 per cent from 2017, and Mount Nebo received 444,000 visitors with a 155-per cent increase, while Ajloun’s guests reached some 243,000, constituting a 24.5-per cent rise.

 The Baptism Site welcomed around 131,000 visitors this year, recording an increase of 395 per cent, Madaba Church saw 291,000 visitors (42 per cent rise) and Karak’s tourists reached 26,000 visitors (71 per cent increase), according to the statement.

 Revenues of archaeological sites increased to reach JD21 million by the end of November 2018, constituting an increase of 36 per cent compared to the same period of 2017, according to the statement.

 Revenues from the unified tickets’ sales by the end of November amounted to JD8,720,740, with 124,580 tickets sold during that period, the statement indicated. 

 Around 3,276 tourism events were organised by the end of November 2018, while the number of tourist guides reached 1,075, 40 of which were licensed this year, and the number of tourist accommodation establishments stands at 580, 18 of which received licences in 2018, the ministry noted.

 The travel and tourism offices in the Kingdom currently stands at 904, after 74 new offices opened this year, and the number of tourist restaurants reached some 990 establishments, up by 65, the statement said, adding that the number of workers in the tourism sector increased to reached 88,000.

 The ministry pointed out that these indicators reflected the Kingdom’s stability, in addition to the ministry’s efforts in cooperation with all stakeholders in the tourism sector to increase the number of tourists coming to the Kingdom and prolong their stay.

 The ministry stressed the importance of prioritising the implementation of accessible tourism in 2019 through projects in tourist and archaeological sites that aim to improve tourism services for persons with disabilities.

 The ministry would also continue to develop new brands of tourism, such as environmental tourism, adventure tourism, therapeutic and medical tourism and attracting conferences, the statement said.