‘Tourism revenues threatened with half billion dinar drop’
By Omar Obeidat – Jun 15,2015 – Last updated at Jun 15,2015
Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour addresses a meeting attended by chief editors of local dailies and several members of the Cabinet (JT photo)
AMMAN — Jordan’s tourism receipts may drop by JD500 million if the plunge in the number of tourists continues at its current pace, Tourism Minister Nayef Al Fayez said Monday.
Describing the current drop in the number of visitors as alarming, Fayez cited official figures which show a 13.8 per cent drop in the number of tourists in the first five months of 2015.
He noted that the number of tourist groups to the ancient city of Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, dropped by 35 per cent between January and May this year, forcing several establishments to lay off employees.
Due to the drop in the number of visitors to the Kingdom, revenues from the sector were down by JD150 million or 15 per cent when compared with the same period of last year, the minister said at a meeting Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour held with chief editors of daily newspapers and journalists.
“If the decline continues at this pace, revenues from tourism may go down by JD450 million to JD500 million by the end of the year,” he indicated.
Tourism receipts amounted to around JD3.1 billion in 2014, according to official figures.
In a bid to boost the sector, the Cabinet recently took a set of measures that include increasing the budget of the Jordan Tourism Board to carry out promotional campaigns for the Kingdom’s tourist attractions in regional and international markets.
The government has also decided to lower electricity tariffs for hotels and annulled entry visa fees for visitors who buy unified tickets for tourist sites. In addition, the Cabinet lowered the fees for visitors entering through land border crossings from JD40 to JD10 and removed the special tax on tickets for regular flights from Amman to Aqaba.