Vatican delegation tours Kingdom’s Christian holy sites

AMMAN — A Vatican delegation is currently on a four-day visit to Jordan to become acquainted with the Kingdom’s tourist and historical sites. VATICAN

The delegation —hosted by Royal Jordanian (RJ), the Tourism Ministry and the Jordan Tourism Board — comprises 20 tour operators from the Vatican and Italy, according to an RJ statement sent to The Jordan Times.

Speaking at a dinner held upon the delegates’ arrival, Tourism Minister Nidal Katamine noted that Christian pilgrims now have the “great opportunity to walk the trail” of Christ and his apostles and become familiarised with the Kingdom’s religious and historical sites, including Um Al Jimal in Mafraq Governorate, Mount Nebo, the Baptism Site, Mukawir, Our Lady of the Mount Church and Mar Elias.

He said these are significant Christian sites that make Jordan an attractive destination for pilgrims.

Katamine added that the tour operators’ visit is a message to the Christians of Jordan that these sites are important for Christians everywhere, according to the statement.

The delegation arrived in Jordan late Tuesday on board the RJ flight from Rome, accompanied by RJ’s area manager in Italy, Ramzi Zawaideh, who organised the trip, the airline said.

RJ Acting President/CEO Captain Haitham Misto said the airline’s initiative to transport the tour operators was in line with its support for inbound tourism and its drive to revitalise European markets.

He stressed that RJ offices in the 52 cities it serves around the world are exerting their utmost efforts to communicate with officials involved in the tourism industry.

The objective of these efforts is to attract tourists to the Kingdom, which witnessed a notable drop in visitors since 2011 due to instability in the Middle East, the statement said.

Captain Misto said RJ and local tourism entities are working together to attract tourists to Jordan, where security and political stability prevail, noting that the country has the potential to be “one of the top destinations that attracts visitors from all over the world”.


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