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Arab Tourists Bolster Jordan’s Tourism Sector Amid Expected Downturn

AMMAN – Jordan’s tourism sector remains buoyant thanks to an increase in Arab visitors, who have helped counterbalance the decline in tourist numbers from other regions of the world, officials report.

The country’s economy, heavily reliant on tourism, continues to thrive despite global challenges, a senior official said.

In the first quarter of 2024, Arab tourists accounted for more than 54% of total visitors, while the percentage was 22.6% of all visitors to Jordan in the entire 2023, according to official statistics, indicating a growing trend of regional travel.

This surge comes as Jordan’s strategic initiatives to attract more Arab visitors begin to bear fruit. Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat, General Manager of the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) said, “Due to proximity and close ties with Jordan and Jordanians, Arab visitors in general are more aware of Jordan’s advantage as a safe and hospitable country with a diverse tourism product.

“Thanks to our marketing campaigns in the Arab region, especially the GCC, the numbers, which exceeded 700,000 in the first three months this year, out of around 1.3 million, made up for the drop in the number of visitors from other regions,” he explained.

Jordan’s tourism recovery has been robust, particularly between 2022 and 2023. The sector not only bounced back from the pandemic downturn but also exceeded the peak figures of 2019.

In 2023, the tourism sector contributed approximately 15.6% to the national GDP, with visitor numbers reaching nearly six million, marking a nearly 26% increase compared to the previous year.

“Our innovative marketing and promotional initiatives, which utilize the latest AI technologies for creating promotional content, have played a significant role in strengthening Jordan’s tourism identity as the ‘Kingdom of Time’,” Arabiyat explained. “These campaigns, targeting key global and Arab markets have not only increased the number of tourists but also cemented Jordan’s image as a unique destination that blends authenticity with modernity.”

The “Kingdom of Time” campaign is part of Jordan’s rebranding efforts to emphasize its rich historical narrative and diverse tourist offerings. This new brand highlights Jordan’s appeal as a timeless destination, with a focus on educational, therapeutic, religious, and adventure tourism, enriching the tourist experience amidst regional instability.

These efforts are underscored by strategic partnerships and improved accessibility via budget airline deals, which have significantly increased both tourist arrivals and revenue. Additionally, hosting international conferences and developing adventure tourism have further established Jordan as a global tourism hub, tourism officials have reiterated in statements recently.

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