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JSTA calls on government to support travel sector

By JT - Apr 05,2020 - Last updated at Apr 05,2020

The Amman Citadel is seen in this undated photo. The Jordan Society for Tourism and Travel Agents said that all travel agents are forced to close their offices due to the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic (Photo by Rajive Cherian)

AMMAN — The Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents (JSTA) on Sunday issued a statement, announcing that all travel agents are forced to close their offices and stop working in all categories; domestic, inbound, Hajj and Umrah and ticketing.

In the press statement, JSTA explained that travel agents are no longer able to pay the salaries of their employees for April in light of the difficult financial conditions they faced when inbound tourism was suspended, adding that most agents committed to paying their employees for March nonetheless.

JSTA represents around 800 agents around the Kingdom, which employ 10,000 workers, the statement said.

“While the agents do not wish to lay off their employees after having invested in their training for a long time, initial estimations show that the tourism sector will not recover or generate any income before the first quarter of 2021,” the statement said.

Therefore, agents will not be able to pay their employees without the intervention and support of the government in order to pay them at least to the end of 2020, JSTA said.

The association said the sector is not operating whatsoever while all air and land entrances to the Kingdom are closed in light of the coronavirus pandemic that spread in many countries, whose tourists used to visit the Kingdom.

Moreover, the sector will need a very long time to recover and begin to market tourism again to go back to the usual level before the virus.

JSTA thus pointed out that “the travel agents’ sector is one of the most impacted by the coronavirus crisis, and will remain affected even once it is over, which means many offices will be closed and a lot of employees will be laid off.”

The association said it contacted the government and proposed its point of view to resolve the crisis, urging it once more in the statement to provide support.

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