Get Some Homework Done!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Sun 8 January / Jan 2017. 10:53 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

It is unhealthy to cover up the effect last year’s terrorist attacks; in Irbid, Karak, and Rukan, had on tourism, especially with the scale of coverage extended by Western media to uncover the details of these incidents.

However, what is needed is a plan to alleviate the damage made and the weight of this stereotypical pattern which has now expanded to include Jordan, with ISIS in the scene lacking political stability the surrounding area, particularly Iraq and Syria.

“Therapeutic tourism” is doing better, generally, giving Jordan a relative advantage, sustained by our Arab brethren who come to Jordan for medical purposes. But this category of tourism, as important as it is, remains partial, to begin with, and unexploited, at best, lacking the government interest it deserves, put aside all the bureaucratic hindrances.

Meanwhile, the other category of tourism, historical, in Petra, Jerash, Ajloun, among other places, is worryingly declining, which is reflective on hotels, labour, and the local market, in addition to lost revenue and the employment opportunities which otherwise could be remade available if we rehabilitate the infrastructures of these major historic cities, to make it more attractive to internal tourists. For example, school trips, summer trips, and scientific tourism, notwithstanding other activities, can seriously contribute to rebuilding the receding industry.

Domestic tourism is nearly non-existent. And despite the ever so redundant plans to vitalise it for Jordanians to explore their own country instead of going overseas, actual revenue, as usual, remains below expected and needed.

Take for example the increase of Jordanian expenditures on overseas tourism, by 9 per cent, over the first 9 months of the year 2016, approximately JOD58 million higher than the figures of the same duration in 2015, according to the Central Bank; then we have ourselves a clear index on how much revenue is going elsewhere, from the mere JOD726 million spent on overseas traveling and tourism until September, 2016, compared to JOD668 million in September, 2015.

This is no ‘mere’ amount; if we can bring in just half of it, we could noticeably vitalise the sector, provide jobs, and motivate the domestic market; we just need to do our homework.

Goals cannot be attained with getting some homework done; Jordan still lacks qualified bureaucracy, and great deal in touristic culture, basic services, and infrastructure; we are still primitive in these regards

In previous articles, I had wrote about my last visit to Petra, as did colleague Fahed Khitan, on his visit to Jerash, among many others.

The Ancient city of Petra, has no basic infrastructures; no water circuits, sanitation, and has very louse basis. So, how are we going to attract tourists into that kind of setting?

Many Jordanians travel to Sharm al Sheikh, in Egypt, Mar Maris in Turkey, Hammamat in Tunisia, as examples of course, and upon arriving they are faced by the massive difference in the level and quality of touristic and hospitality services and facilities.

Tourism is an industry we still know nothing about, even though it could bring in a humongous annual chunk to the economy. It may even reflect positively on the regional affair as a whole, creating a safe and quality haven in the midst of this!

The tourism industry is an advanced comprehensive process; it is a stand-alone economic. One which requires innovative strategic approaches, driven by untraditional creativity, to constitute the qualitative leap required or in the least redirect us to the right track we have so long derailed from that we no longer see!