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Baptism Site sees sharp drop in visitors

By JT - Jan 13,2021 - Last updated at Jan 13,2021

A view of the Baptism Site on the eastern side of the Jordan River, some 40km west of Amman (JT file photo)

AMMAN  — The number of visitors to the Baptism Site dropped by 80 per cent in 2020 in comparison with figures recorded in 2019, a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the commission that oversees the site.

Director General of the Baptism Site Commission Rustom Mkhijan on Tuesday said the numbers seen in 2020 are the lowest since opening the site in 2002, noting that the restrictions and border closures to contain the virus breakout have deprived the site from receiving more than 180,000 tourists, the majority of which from abroad.

The site is among the most important sites for Christians as it is the location where Jesus was baptised.

The site welcomed 35,000 visitors in 2020, in comparison with 185,000 in 2019, he said, noting that local tourists constitute less than 10 per cent of the total number of visitors, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra. 

Highlighting the commission’s efforts towards improving provided services, the official said that the commission in cooperation with the Tourism Ministry is offering training for 150 tourist guides to deal with visitors and increase awareness of the religious and historical significance of the site, including the site’s message of love and peace, Petra reported

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