Jordan could double its tourism receipts by 2022 if the sector manages to continue growing annually by 10 to 15 percent, Minister of Tourism Lina Annab said.
“That’s very doable. It’s realistic and ambitious,” Annab told Venture on the sidelines of a tourism conference in Amman last month. “The projects we have in the pipeline, along the developments regarding increasing accessibility to Jordan and enhancing our touristic sites, means we will be able capacity-wise to absorb much larger numbers of visitors which will also translate into more revenues.”
Last year, tourism receipts grew 15 percent while visitor numbers increased by 10 percent, Annab said. During the first half of 2018, there was an approximately 8-10 percent increase in the number of visitors and about a 13 percent increase in tourism receipts. “The growth is incredible. We expect the next six months to be much stronger,” she said.
Annab added that her ministry was beginning to pay more attention to developing potential visitor sites in more rural areas. “We have been so focused on cities, which makes sense. But now if we are talking about expanding and diversifying the product and making it more equitable, sustainable and inclusive, this has to include the areas where we know our assets are,” she said.
Tourists are coming from all over the world, she added, with new markets opening up such as Asia-Pacific. While traditional markets that witnessed a slowdown are starting to come back. “What we offer in Jordan is really something very different. I think we have to be very smart on how to capitalize on this.”