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Hotel occupancy rates in Petra up by 30 to 40% — stakeholder

By JT - Sep 23,2021 - Last updated at Sep 23,2021

The ‘Urdunn Jannah’ programme provides free transportation (buses) and meals for the participants, as well as a tour guide for each bus (Photo courtesy of Tourism Ministry Facebook page)

AMMAN — Recent measures taken by the Tourism Ministry and Visit Jordan led to an increase in the number of daily visitors to Petra, head of the Petra Hotels Association Tariq Tweisi said.

The measures included linking Petra with the majority of trips scheduled and planned by the “Urdun Jannah” programme, launched to encourage domestic tourism, to tourist areas in the south, and supporting cultural events. 

Tweisi highlighted that hotel occupancy rates in Petra improved by 30 to 40 per cent during the current month and the past two months, and it is significantly increasing compared with the first six months of the current year.

He stressed that the ministry and Visit Jordan, in cooperation with the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority, sought to extend the stay of visitors in the district’s hotels by diversifying the tourist programmes, as they were not limited to visiting the archaeological areas only, but rather included multiple activities. 

Tweisi said that Petra's 45 hotels had gone through exceptional circumstances during the pandemic, noting that occupancy rates reached zero per cent during last June. 

Meanwhile, the assistant director-general of Visit Jordan and director of the “Urdun Jannah” programme, Yazan Khudair, said that the number of people who visited Petra through the programme has reached nearly 24,000. 

Tourism Ministry’s Director of Media, Communication and International Cooperation Ahmad Rifai stressed the pivotal role that the media plays in promoting tourism locally, regionally and globally, appreciating the efforts of the media in supporting the tourism sector and promoting tourist and archaeological sites.

The "Urdunn Jannah’’ programme provides free transportation (buses) and meals for the participants, as well as a tour guide for each bus. The ministry covers over 50 per cent of the programme's total cost.

The programme, designed for Jordanians and residents, provides one-day trips to several tourist destinations in the northern, central and southern regions, and overnight trips in the areas most affected by the pandemic that have suffered from the cessation of in-bound tourism, such as Aqaba, Petra, Wadi Rum, and other areas.

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