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Wadi Rum welcomes over 18,000 visitors in early 2024

By JT - Mar 13,2024 - Last updated at Mar 13,2024

Wadi Rum, around 230km south of Amman, has provided the scenery for several Hollywood films, including 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'The Martian' (Photo courtesy of Jessica Carpenter)

AMMAN — Wadi Rum in the first two months of the year welcomed a total of 18,359 visitors, the majority of whom were non-Arabs, according to figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

The number of visitors in January was 6,814, which significantly increased to 11,545 in February. Non-Arab tourists constituted the majority with 14,200 visitors. Arab visitors accounted for 1 per cent of the total with 187 visitors, while Jordanian visitors made up 22 per cent with 3,972 visitors.

Recent data from the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) revealed an 8.9 per cent increase in tourism revenues in February 2024 compared with the same period in 2023, reaching JD389.7 million. In January-February, tourism revenues grew by 4.5 per cent, totalling JD782.6 million.

Tourism revenues exceeded projections for the first three quarters of 2023, showing a 27.4 per cent increase and setting a "historical" precedent at JD5.2 billion, according to the CBJ.

Bookings cancelled in the last quarter of the previous year reached at least 65 per cent, largely due to the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, according to earlier statements by Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh.

The government earlier reiterated its commitment to establishing the Kingdom as a leading tourism and film production hub. This commitment was reflected in the implementation of 260 promotional campaigns in 53 countries last year, resulting in 9.2 million passengers passing through Queen Alia International Airport, marking a 17 per cent increase.

A total of 6.3 million visitors flocked to the Aqaba and Petra regions. One million electronic visas were issued, and 292 buses were added to the tourist transport fleet. The Ministry of Tourism also promoted low-cost carriers through partnerships with five new charter and scheduled airlines, leading to an increase of 141 per cent in passengers, carrying a total of 446,000 passengers. 

The government also inaugurated the development of archaeological sites and the launch of new tourism experiences such as the Ajloun Cable Car, which attracted 268,000 visitors, and the Um Qais Water Tunnel.

Other attractions include diving in Aqaba, the Petra Hot Air Balloon, the Christian Pilgrimage Trail in Mukawer, the restoration of six major tourist and archaeological spots, and the inauguration of film studios.

 

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