You are here

Gov’t urged to provide incentives for Palestinian travellers

Calls come amid Israel’s decision to allow Palestinians to fly from Ramon airport

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Aug 11,2022 - Last updated at Aug 11,2022

A view of Ramon airport in Eilat (AFP file photo)

AMMAN — Calls for immediate political intervention have risen following the recent decision by Israeli authorities to allow Palestinians to travel internationally via Ramon airport in Eilat. 

West Bank Palestinians will be permitted to fly out of Israel’s Ramon Airport beginning later this month, the Israeli Airport Authority announced on Tuesday. 

Prior to the decision, West Bank Palestinians who wished to travel abroad had to first enter Jordan via the King Hussein Bridge in the Jordan Valley, and then travel into Amman for international flights.

The Jordanian hospitality sector is anticipating significant profit losses as a consequence of the decision, expected to only worsen during the winter season, hospitality sector representatives told The Jordan Times. 

“The losses are estimated to exceed 50 per cent of our generated income,” Basem Ghalayeene, Secretary General at Jordan Society for Tourism and Travel Agents (JSTA), told The Jordan Times on Thursday. 

Ghalayeene added that Palestinian tourism generated profits in several critical sectors, including transport, hospitality and retail. 

“Palestinian tourists had to also pay entry and departure fees to the government,” representing an additional income stream that will likely be disrupted by the decision, said Ghalayeen. 

A travel agent who preferred to remain anonymous told The Jordan Times that Palestinian travellers typically spend no less than two days in the Kingdom, both before and after their international flights. “A minimum of JD100 is spent by each tourist every day for transport and accommodation,” he said. 

He noted that earlier this summer, Jordan launched a portal to preregister Palestinian tourists, capping the number of Palestinian tourist entries at 4,000 per day. 

“If you do the math, you will figure out that at a minimum, Palestinian tourists in Jordan spend in excess of JD400,000 daily,” he added. 

Yaser Abdo, another travel agent, noted that in addition to the revenue generated from transport and accommodation, “Palestinians’ international travel reservations have to go through local travel agents.”  

Abdo urged the government to offer incentives to Palestinian travellers that would encourage them to continue travelling through Jordan. 

“The government could ease restrictions, cancel entry and departure fees, or allow Palestinians to enter Jordan by car,” he added. 

Abdo emphasised the need for the government to take action to protect the local hospitality sector from further economic loss. 

 

up
24 users have voted.

Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.