Tourism sector posts growth in last two years | Panorama | Ammon News

Tourism sector posts growth in last two years

[8/24/2019 8:11:36 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Majd Shweikeh said Saturday that tourism achieved major economic growth over the past two years, contributing to the employment of more Jordanians in the sector.

In an interview with Jordan Television's "60 Minutes" on Friday, Shweikeh pointed to an 8 percent growth in this year's tourism revenues, and a 6 percent growth in the number of visitors, while July tourism revenues picked up by 10 percent, the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) announced on Wednesday.

She cited low-cost airlines and charter flights as the key reasons behind the growth, in addition to the efforts exerted by the ministry, in cooperation with the Jordan Tourism Board and travel agents, to promote local tourism.

One of the most important measures the ministry had taken was activating the National Tourism Council, which includes tourism experts from the private sector, she added.

Shweikeh said the council focuses on productivity and competitiveness in the sector, and discusses the challenges it faces and finding sustainable solutions.

She also pointed to incentives and exemptions on duties for production inputs, to invigorate investment in the tourism sector, increase competitiveness, and reduce costs.

On His Majesty King Abdullah's directives regarding Ajloun, the minister pointed out that a committee was formed by the Prime Minister to implement a comprehensive tourism plan for the north-western governorate.

The committee discussed topics including infrastructure, roads, and human resources, and reviewed the master plan's main axes with the Jordan Investment Commission to outline its steps.

She underlined the importance of promoting religious tourism, noting that Jordan has five Christian pilgrimage sites that the Vatican recognizes, as well as many Islamic sites.

On medical tourism, Shweikeh pointed to a "reference standard" on matters relating to therapeutic tourism from the public and private sectors, affirming that a plan was put in place to establish a specialized service center at the airport, and an electronic platform for networking among stakeholders.

On the "Urdunna Janna" program, she said the aim is to support and stimulate local tourism, empower local communities, provide employment opportunities for Jordanians, and offer citizens a unique tourism experience at budget-friendly prices.

The program covers 40 percent of the costs of local tourism trips, and provides free transportation, she noted, adding that over 50,000 citizens benefit from it.

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