Jordan: A Top Tourist Destination for Arab Families, Say Experts

Amman, July 1 (Petra) — Jordan has been highlighted as a preferred tourist destination for Arab families, particularly those from the Gulf region, thanks to its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, safety, and the warm hospitality of its people, according to tourism experts and industry professionals.

In a statement to the Jordan News Agency (Petra), these experts emphasized Jordan’s ongoing efforts to enhance its tourism sector and facilities to remain attractive to Arab tourists, as well as foreign visitors. They noted that Jordan holds a special place in the hearts of Gulf and Arab tourists.

Experts pointed out that the family-friendly atmosphere is the primary factor drawing Arab tourists, especially Gulf families, to Jordan. This demographic regularly visits the Kingdom to enjoy its pleasant environment.

They also stressed the importance of festival and shopping tourism, which are major attractions for Arab tourists. Additionally, they called for efforts to attract Arab travel agents and offer tourism programs tailored to family needs, along with a marketing strategy by the Tourism Promotion Authority that focuses heavily on Arab markets.

They highlighted that intra-Arab tourism brings significant economic benefits, as Arab tourists tend to have longer stays and higher spending. Intra-Arab tourism also fosters stronger cultural and social ties, enhances commercial and industrial cooperation, and promotes Arab unity on common issues.

Professor Ibrahim Al-Kurdi from the College of Tourism at the University of Jordan noted that Gulf tourism is relatively unaffected by regional instability and is less sensitive to disruptions compared to global tourism. Consequently, Gulf tourism compensates for declines in international tourism to Jordan during political unrest.

Al-Kurdi called for intensified marketing campaigns targeting Arab tourists and emphasized the private sector’s role in boosting tourism promotion. He also highlighted the need for improved air, land, and sea transport policies, which are vital for the tourism sector.

He explained that Gulf tourists primarily seek leisure and recreational activities, preferring destinations like summer resorts, mountain retreats, and cities with moderate temperatures. This preference results in a concentration of Gulf tourists in Amman, Ajloun, and their surrounding areas, known for their mild climate, forests, and greenery.

Al-Kurdi added that providing the right services and facilities, such as hotels, furnished apartments, amusement parks, entertainment centers, and shopping malls, is crucial for attracting Gulf tourists.

To establish Jordan as the top tourist destination for Arab families, Hussein Hilalat, Vice President of the Jordan Hotels Association, suggested several strategic initiatives. These include targeted marketing campaigns on social media and television, showcasing Jordan’s unique attractions like Petra, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, and northern regions.

Hilalat also emphasized offering family-oriented packages that include accommodation, transportation, and recreational and educational activities at affordable costs. He stressed the need to improve tourism infrastructure, such as hotels, resorts, and recreational facilities, and to provide comfortable and safe transportation between cities and tourist sites. Establishing children’s entertainment centers, playgrounds, and childcare services in hotels and resorts is also important.

He highlighted the importance of easing visa and residency procedures for Arab tourists and promoting Jordan’s medical tourism advantages, such as mud and salt treatments at the Dead Sea and mineral water treatments at Ma’in Hot Springs. Improving healthcare services and therapeutic resorts to meet the needs of tourists seeking treatment and relaxation is also crucial.

Hilalat called for organizing family-friendly activities and events, such as desert tours, diving in the Red Sea, and visiting museums and archaeological sites. Educational programs for children that teach Jordanian culture and history engagingly, and cultural and artistic festivals showcasing Jordanian and Arab heritage, such as music festivals, theater performances, and art exhibitions, are essential. Engaging families in cultural activities through workshops and interactive exhibitions is also vital.

He stressed the need to develop and promote eco-tourism, attract tourists to lesser-known sites with unique natural and historical beauty, such as the Dana Reserve, the Shaumari Reserve, and northern regions, and improve infrastructure in these areas. Establishing low-cost airlines and reducing Royal Jordanian ticket prices to attract more Gulf and Arab tourists is also necessary.

Mohammed Wahib, Professor of Heritage Studies at Queen Rania College of Tourism and Heritage at the Hashemite University, stated that current conditions and past experiences show that Arab markets are resilient to regional events. Therefore, Arab tourism is key to achieving economic development in the sector.

He added that increasing the number of Arab visitors depends on creating new products and local and regional tourist routes, such as the International Incense Road and its Jordanian stations, the global Silk Road that passed through Jordan, and other routes.

//Petra// RZ
01/07/2024 08:50:38