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King checks on progress in tourism promotion plans

His Majesty says sector’s contribution to economy, job generation should increase

By JT - May 13,2018 - Last updated at May 13,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah chairs a meeting on tourism promotion plans in Amman on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday chaired a meeting, attended by HRH Prince Hussein, where he was briefed on progress made in plans to invigorate the tourism sector and increase its contribution to GDP.

During the meeting, also attended by Prime Minister Hani Mulki, His Majesty urged tourism authorities to harness the sector’s potential and diversify the products to maximise its contribution to the national economy in a way that reflects positively on local communities and generates jobs for Jordanian youth.

The King thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for its efforts that led to better indicators, stressing, at the same time, on the need to capitalise on these improvements to sustain a growth uptrend. He said that development plans concerning the industry must adopt a modern and comprehensive perspective that focuses on the competitive features of the sector, citing medical tourism as a key economic pillar “which should grow as a real, highly-developed industry, a matter which requires the provision of inclusive and integrated packages of attractive products and services to enhance the competiveness of this vital sector”.

His Majesty also underlined the need for institutionalised coordination and cooperation between the ministry, Jordan Tourism Board and Royal Jordanian as vital in efforts to promote tourism.

For her part, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Lina Annab outlined the measures taken and accomplishments made after the Crown Prince visited the ministry in December last year to evaluate the situation of the industry and plans to advance it, highlighting a 2018-2022 strategy drawn up by the ministry.

The blueprint seeks to double the number of tourists within five years through enhancing the competiveness of the tourism products, attract new markets, train human resources and improve the quality of services provided to visitors.  

She also underlined a plan to secure low-cost airline tickets to attract groups of tourists after signing an agreement with Ryanair, a major airline in Europe, to operate trips from Paphos, Cyprus to Jordan, while a deal with the UK-based Easy Jet is being finalised to offer cheap flights from UK to Aqaba.

She also noted that the tourism sector grew by 12.5 per cent in 2017, while the number of tourists increased by 8.7 per cent. 

In remarks to the press after the meeting, Annab said that each type of tourism (religious, medical, adventure...etc.) would be handled through a different approach. 

Jordan’s Tourism Board’s chief, Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat, noted that the Chinese market is a major target as far as his agency is concerned, telling the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that low-cost flights will be arranged for potential tourists from the economic giant. 

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