Bureaucracy, Taxation, and High Costs Weigh on Tourism in Jordan

Arabiyyat: Inbound Gulf Tourism to Jordan Expected Increase

تم نشره في Tue 3 May / May 2016. 12:00 AM
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AMMAN —Al Ghad— Head of the Jordan Tourism Board, Abdul Razzaq Arabiyyat stated to “Al Ghad” that the Kingdom is expected to witness an increase in inbound tourism from Gulf countries, for both leisure and medical purposes.

According to Arabiyyat, the number of Gulf tourists to Jordan in 2015 decreased to 612 thousand from 689 thousand in 2014, by 11 per cent, noting that the newly launched campaign in Dubai will probably increase inbound tourism, as other campaigns are to be launched in different parts of the world, in a two-tier strategy.

However, the number of in-house tourists has decreased so far over the first quarter of 2016 from 843 thousand tourists to 828 thousand from the same period of the year 2015, as total tourists entering Jordan over the quarter has decreased by 6.8 per cent, from 1.127 million in the first quarter, 2015, to 1.05 million in the first quarter of 2016.

In this regard, tourism professionals operating in the Sector emphasise that overcoming the challenges of the current situation requires a thorough review of the bureaucracy in control of the marketing and promotional campaigns, and perhaps an even more thorough review of taxation policies and sector operational costs for operators and investors in the industry.

Moreover, President of the Jordanian Tour Guides Association, Khaled Aamar, stated to “Al Ghad” that the tourism sector in Jordan faces a variety of challenges, including decreased demand, globally, on tours and packages to the region as a whole —Jordan included, which requires innovative approaches to promotion and marketing.

In this discourse, Aamar underlines the importance of decreasing taxation on the sector to achieve competitiveness with neighbouring and regional tourism hubs.

Accordingly, official tourism bodies are said to be reviewing a variety of fees and expenses on tourism and sites.

 

On the other side, Travel and Tourism Faculty of the Jordan University–Aqaba, Dr Ibrahim Bthatho, highlights that there are huge imbalances with the Jordanian tourism sector, including the negligence of many touristic sites.

Dr Bthatho states that the promotional and marketing strategy currently underway is “wrong”, calling to revaluating it as “it focuses on one market and dismisses other important markets, when Europeans have become fearful of visiting Jordan”.

More so, the JU academic spoke about the dangers of transgressions against many historical sites, due to shortcoming security, as well as endangered sites that require renovation and the attention of international societies to fund and support their reconstruction and maintenance.

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