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Jordan ranks 64th globally on 2021 Travel & Tourism Development Index

By Mays Ibrahim Mustafa - Aug 15,2022 - Last updated at Aug 15,2022

AMMAN — Jordan ranked 64th globally and 6th regionally on the 2021 Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI), released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

Japan topped the list of 117 countries, followed by the US, Spain, France and Germany, according to the report, which stated that the economies covered in this year’s index “account for approximately 96 per cent of the world’s direct T&T GDP in 2020”.

The UAE, ranking 25th globally, has ranked first among the MENA region, followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Lebanon and Yemen, which ranked 116, the index showed. 

The report also noted that the tourism sector was hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, suffering “a loss of $4.5 trillion in T&T GDP and 62 million jobs in 2020 alone”.

“While increasing vaccination rates, the easing of travel restrictions and economic growth have helped kick-start a recovery, it remains slow, uneven and fragile,” the report added. 

Vaccine distribution, travel policies, supply-chain disruptions, inflation and labour shortages caused by the pandemic are all factors contributing to “the uneven recovery” of the sector around the world, according to the findings of the report. 

Moreover, the outbreak of war in Ukraine has “created further supply-chain disruptions, increased energy prices, introduced travel restrictions, disrupted air routes and, overall, heightened geopolitical uncertainty and safety concerns,” the report stated. 

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Panel of Experts, total international arrivals, which remain 67 per cent below 2019 levels, aren’t expected to “return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the earliest”, the report added. 

The TTDI framework considers various factors that enable a “sustainable and resilient” long-term development of the Travel and Tourism (T&T) sector, “including everything from business, safety and health conditions, infrastructure and natural resources to environmental, socioeconomic and demand pressures”, according to the index. 

In an interview with The Jordan Times, Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities spokesperson Ahmad Rifai noted that the tourism sector in Jordan has witnessed notable growth, and has been “exceeding expectations”, during the first half of this year. 

Over 2.5 million tourists visited the Kingdom in the first seven months of 2022, marking a 220 per cent increase compared with the same period last year. Tourism revenue increased by 242 per cent, and reached over $2 billion, according to Rifai. 


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