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2013 was a bad year for hotels — association

By Muath Freij - Jan 15,2014 - Last updated at Jan 15,2014

AMMAN — The hospitality sector in Jordan faced a difficult year in 2013 because the number of tourists dropped, according to Jordan Hotel Association (JHA) Chairman Michael Nazzal.

Regional instability continued to have a negative impact on the hospitality and tourism sectors last year, Nazzal said on Tuesday.

“The number of Arab tourists was good compared to foreigners, but they usually do not visit sites like Petra, Wadi Musa and Aqaba,” he told The Jordan Times at the Jordan Tourism Award ceremony. 

The hotelier noted that the occupancy rate in the Kingdom’s hotels reached 45 per cent in 2013. 

But Nazzal did not have specific figures on the number of visitors that the Kingdom received last year.

JHA General Manager Yassar Al Majali said hotels in Jordan faced fierce competition from those in Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh resort. 

“The increased expenses of employees’ salaries, water and electricity had a negative impact on the sector,” he added. 

Mohammad Khawaldeh, who received an award as one of the best tourist guides, said the tourist guide business was harmed by the decreasing number of tourist groups.

Khawaldeh, a guide for French-speaking groups, noted that there are around 1,140 guides covering 32 languages in Jordan, 200 of whom are guides for French-speaking tourists.

Organised by the JHA, the Jordan Tourism Award ceremony was held to honour the best hotels, tourism offices and guides in the Kingdom. 

Nazzal noted that the award was first launched five years ago with the aim of encouraging the hospitality sector to improve services.

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