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Sector insiders discuss means to attract more tourists

By Petra - Feb 09,2015 - Last updated at Feb 09,2015

AMMAN — Participants in a brain-storming session on Monday discussed the possibility of attracting low-cost airlines and reducing taxes as incentives to draw more tourists to the country.

At the session, Tourism Minister Nidal Katamine noted that 90 per cent of tourists worldwide use low-cost airlines, which generally offer affordable round trips. 

Tourists’ main concern is how much an airline ticket will cost them, the minister told the participants, highlighting the need to provide facilities for low-cost airlines in Jordan to increase the competitiveness of the tourism sector.

Transport Minister Lina Shbeeb said it is important to consider unconventional ways to arrive at new ideas that would not violate the government’s agreement with Airport International Group (AIG), which operates Queen Alia International Airport.

AIG CEO Kjeld Binger said passengers flying to Jordan pay JD92 in taxes, of which JD16 go to AIG, highlighting the need to reconsider the issue of high taxes. 

At the end of the session, Katamine called for forming a committee comprising representatives of concerned entities, including the Finance Ministry, to submit recommendations within two weeks on how to attract low-cost airlines to Jordan to serve the tourism sector. 

Participants at the session included representatives of AIG and the Jordan Tourism Board.

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