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Ajloun residents count on zip line project completion to revive local tourism

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Nov 19,2020 - Last updated at Nov 19,2020

AMMAN — In spite of various recurring statements from officials in Ajloun regarding the governorate’s zip line project, which is scheduled to be ready in 2021, citizens have demanded that the government remove all hindrances standing in its way.

Considered a “qualitative leap” for tourism growth, Ajloun residents said the completion of this project would help revive the ailing tourism sector, especially since tourism might return to normal as the world nears finding a COVID-19 vaccine.

Mohammad Alzghoul, an Ajloun resident, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Thursday that finishing the zip line project could help face the coronavirus repercussions by improving tourism in the governorate.

“Ajloun has the infrastructure to receive tourists and have them stay for longer than one night, but it needs the completion of vital recreational and tourism projects,” Alzghoul said.

“If the news about the vaccine come to pass, that means tourism will embark on the path of recovery. Having the zip line project ready by the time things return to normal will help the local community and improve tourism revenue in the governorate,” Ahmad Alqudah said.

Alqudah, also a resident in Ajloun, noted that the project will provide many, who have lost jobs during the crisis, with new opportunities.

Jordan Free and Development Zones Group (JFDZG) Chairman Khalaf Hmeisat had announced in earlier press statements that the tender for the zip line project was floated to a local company.

In the statements, Hmeisat said “the 10-month tender includes creating towers and buildings for the zip line in Ajloun at a cost of JD5 million, and a tender was landed by an Austrian company at a cost of 7 million euros, with a separate tender for supervising the buildings and towers at a cost of JD430,000.”

He added that the project will be ready by the end of 2021 with its buildings, restaurants, cafes and markets.

Head of the governorate council Omar Almomani said that improving tourism will generate income for the governorate’s local communities, which requires establishing large projects for the public and private sectors, as well as seeking funding entities to support small- and medium-sized enterprises created by the local community.

Around 140,000 tourists visited the archaeological sites in Ajloun in previous years, while 1.5 million visitors hiked there before the coronavirus crisis, according to figures from the governorate’s tourism directorate.

Ajloun’s 330-metre zip line kicks off at the Royal Academy for Nature Conservation, near the Ajloun Forest Reserve, and goes through the scenic green forests.

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