By Market Research Jordan | Posted April 30, 2019
According to the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), Aqaba is scheduled to receive tourists from all over the world starting March 2019 through towards the end of the year 2019. As stated by ASEZA spokesperson, Abdul Mahdi Qatamin, more than 52 cruise ships with more than 96,000 tourists on board are expected to visit Aqaba, coming to the golden triangle: Aqaba, Wadi Rum and Petra.
Compared with an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 tourists inbound by the sea in 2018, the compelling increase is seen due to a number of factors, according to Sharhabeel Madi, ASEZA commissioner for economic development and investment affairs. One is the current relative calm situation in the Middle East, making tourists less afraid to visit the region bye sea or otherwise.
Another is that the Ministry of Tourism has also been focusing on promoting Jordan by collaborating with social media influencers, both outside and inside Jordan. In the past year, several food and travel bloggers have been invited to visit Jordan, sharing their experiences via their blogs and social media outlets, as some of them have millions of followers.
The vision of ASEZ is to become the world class Red Sea business hub and leisure destination, enhancing the quality of life and prosperity of the community through sustainable and a driving force for Jordan’s economic growth. ASEZ is a major economic development node for tourism, recreational and professional services, multi-modal transportation, and value-added industries in the region, offering global business opportunities in a competitive location with a high-quality lifestyle.
The ASEZ covers around 375 sq km, including the land borders of Saudi Arabia and Israel, extending to the territorial waters of Egypt. Incorporating the historic city of Aqaba with 80,000 population, the ASEZ has all the physical and social infrastructure and utilities required to serve a flourishing city.
Through the establishment of ASEZ as liberalized, low-tax and multi-sector development area, the Jordan government has embarked on an aggressive strategy, positioning the Kingdom within the global economy Aiming to attract investment and maximize private sector participation, a simplified business environment has been designed with streamlined administrative systems in the zone.
The revenue of Jordan’s tourism in the first two months of 2019 increased to JOD 573.9 million, up by 10% compared with the same period in the last year, according to statistical report of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The performance index of Jordan tourism is constantly improving due to the increase visitors from different countries, reaching 74,193, up by 18.4%, with the numbers of overnight tourists rose to 633,246 visitors, up by 6.4$ compared to the last year.
Along with Aqaba, Jerash is also garnering reputation as a “must see” destination of international tourists to Jordan. By the first quarter of 2018, Jerash recorded a 100% hike in the number of visitors compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching 39,000 with entry-ticket revenues worth JOD 265,675, as stated by Jerash antiquities. The role of stakeholders is important in improving the promotion of the ancient city of Jerash as the “Pompeii of the East”, considered one of the most complete Roman cities in the world.
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