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20,000 Russian tourists visited Aqaba this year — JTB

Increase in number of visitors is fruit of promotional campaigns

By Dana Al Emam - Oct 25,2016 - Last updated at Oct 25,2016

AMMAN — Some 20,000 Russian tourists have visited Aqaba on charter flights since the beginning of the year, an official said on Tuesday.

Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) Managing Director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat said weekly charter flights started operating regularly to Aqaba, 330km south of Amman, in November last year, adding that flights had been increased to two every week.

The exemption of charter flights from the $60 departure tax, on condition that passengers spend a week in the Kingdom, has “paid off”, Arabiyat said, noting that Russian tourists had spent $6 million in two of Aqaba’s main hotels as well as $1 million in Petra and Wadi Rum so far in 2016. 

The majority of visitors prefer to stay at beach resorts in Aqaba, the JTB official noted.

The increase in the number of tourists is the fruit of “intensified” promotional campaigns on Russian television and radio stations as well as advertisements on billboards and underground transportation stations, according to Arabiyat. 

The JTB has focused on the Russian market, particularly after a Russian aircraft carrying 224 passengers crashed shortly after taking off from Sharm El Sheikh in November last year.

Moscow halted flights to the Egyptian resort after the incident in the previously popular vacation spot for Russians left no survivors.

Aqaba has a similar climate to Sharm El Sheikh. 

“Aqaba is an all-year destination for Russian tourists,” Arabiyat concluded.

 

The JTB’s campaign to attract Russian tourists is carried out in partnership with Travco Group Holding for Tourism.

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