Mohammed Abu Al-Ghanm
Amman – Those dealing with the tourism sector called for the need to find a clear action plan to address the challenges of the sector, which relies heavily on moving the wheel of the national economy, increasing its employment capacity and reduced unemployment rates that have reached high levels.
In separate conversations with Al-Ghad, they stressed the need to review the costs and financial burdens borne by the sector, especially those related to taxes and electricity and electricity prices, in order to increase its competitiveness compared to countries in the region, stressed that Jordan has tourist diversity in large areas that enable it to be in the spotlight of tourists from different parts of the world.
They stressed that the tourism sector is receiving a lot of attention from His Majesty King Abdullah II, which requires the strengthening of joint work between the two sectors to find realistic solutions that contribute to the revival of the sector and increase its position on the map. global tourism, noting the importance of intensifying promotional campaigns in foreign target markets and the use of technology in marketing operations for Jordan tourism.
The head of the Jordan Hotel Association, M. Abdul Hakim Al Hindi, “Tourism is the most important national savings that plays its role in moving the wheel of the national economy and providing more employment opportunities for Jordanians.”
He stressed that the sector has witnessed over the last two years a real return as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic on movement and travel, which clearly and visibly affected the stability of the investor in this sector.
Al-Hindi said, “The sector is receiving a great deal of attention from His Majesty King Abdullah II,” noting that the association is keen to capture the royal message about supporting and revitalizing the sector by offering contributing ideas and solutions. in its recovery and return to the previous era before the Corona virus pandemic.
Al-Hindi noted that the government agreed with the association’s proposal to reduce the overall sales tax to 8% instead of 16%; It had a positive impact on easing the burden on all sectors of tourism (hotels, restaurants, antiques, tourist offices, etc.), calling for the need to offer more sales tax cuts in order to increase the competitiveness of the sector. compared to countries in the region.
He noted the importance of the national seminar held at the Royal Court to create a clear strategy for dealing with the tourism sector in the Kingdom, especially as it involved representatives of those with experience and specialization in the economic sectors, including the sector of tourism, emphasizing that the organization of the seminar reflects the extent of the royal tendency for the importance of the development and growth of the national economy over the coming period.
Al-Hindi presented the most important challenges facing the hotel sector in the Kingdom, the main of which is the accumulation of financial receivables in the hotel and the interruption of electricity, in addition to not including all hotel facilities in the “sustainability” program and disability. of hotel facilities to pay the installments reached on the loans.
He noted the other challenges represented in the failure to collect Libyan debts owed for 11 years in favor of hotels, in addition to not excluding hotel facilities from the benefits of late installments made by them, calling for the need to reconsider laws. and regulations issued by the Ministry of Investment and the Municipality of Aman to improve the business environment and attract more investment.
On the other hand, the head of the Petra Tourism Development Authority, Dr. Suleiman Al-Farajat, said: “The Kingdom is a valuable archaeological museum that includes thousands of archaeological and tourist sites, which seek their use, development and preservation to attract the largest number of tourists, in addition to the support of the General Directorate of Antiquities responsible for all archaeological sites until it is able to provide the best services in those areas, in addition to the partnership between the public and private sector to provide the best tourist services in the Kingdom to its visitors. ”
He stressed that the tourism sector has achieved real achievements on the ground during the years leading up to the Corona pandemic; Statistics recorded tremendous figures in 2019 and expectations were that it would flourish during 2020, but the pandemic led to a significant decline in sector activity.
Al-Farajat referred to the effective role played by His Majesty King Abdullah II in supporting and promoting the tourism sector, in addition to the direct royal interest before, during and after the Crown for this important sector in the movement of the national economy, emphasizing that kingdom The interest in this sector reflects its importance in economic development and its real role in increasing the Kingdom’s revenue from this sector.
“The Authority is conducting intensive external promotional campaigns in various markets to attract the largest number of tourists to the Kingdom,” said Dr. Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat, General Director of the Tourism Promotion Authority.
Arabiyat showed that the authority is constantly working to combat the consequences of the Corona crisis in tourism in cooperation with the tourism sector, which is a partner in decision-making and action, showing that the authority’s strategy and plan target all markets in different countries. world for the purpose of attracting tourists to visit the Kingdom.
Arabiyat explained that support for low-cost aviation clearly contributed to the increase in the number of tourists in the Kingdom and played a key role in increasing the number in 2019, and consequently in increasing tourism revenues.
Arabiyat highlighted the prominent royal role played by His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein in promoting the Kingdom in various international forums, showing that the sector has witnessed tremendous development in recent years and has begun to recover from the pandemic of Corona from the beginning. of this year.
It is worth noting that the national strategy of the Ministry of Tourism, which extends until 2025, aims to increase the number of tourists in excess of the levels of 2019, when the figures reached 5.3 million tourists, and the return of total revenues from tourism in levels of 2019, which reached 4.1 billion dinars, by 2024, along with increased employment directly in the tourism sector to surpass the figures of 2019 until 2023.
It is worth noting that more than 4 billion dinars entered the state treasury from the tourism sector in 2019, and Jordan entered more than 5 million visitors that year, but these figures decreased due to the pandemic in 2020 with about 76%.
According to the Central Bank, the Kingdom’s tourism revenue increased by $ 230 million or 256% in April from the same month last year to $ 320 million.
The Central Bank attributed this increase to the increase in the number of tourists during the same month by about 207.5 thousand tourists, reaching 278.9 thousand tourists.
Revenues from tourism during the first four months of this year increased by about $ 870 million, or 252.7%, reaching $ 1.2 billion, compared to the corresponding period last year, as a result of the increase in the number of tourists with 791.6 thousand tourists in reach 1.59 million.