Selling the authenticity of the vacation spot, a multicultural society and quite a lot of cultural experiences is the duty of Nayef Al Fayez, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for the Kingdom of Jordan. With out forgetting to foster investments and offering the very best circumstances for world travellers.
Jordan has just lately launched a brand new marketing campaign selling the vacation spot because the Kingdom of Time. How necessary is tourism for the nation?
The federal government has outlined tourism as the highest precedence in our govt programme of growth for 2021-2023. As a result of pandemic, we noticed a giant drop in our tourism receipts and vacationer arrivals. In 2020, revenues dropped by 76%, from JOD4.1 billion [US$5.78 billion] in 2019 right down to JOD1 bn [US$1.4 bn] in 2020. Simply think about the devastation for our nation, with virtually 13% of our GDP relying on tourism! This disaster has an impression on the entire economic system and on the lifetime of many individuals. And never solely those relying straight on tourism. We needed to help the tourism trade to assist our folks survive the arduous instances they had been going by means of.
How was tourism restoration final 12 months?
We perceive restoration won’t occur directly. Our technique takes under consideration that it’s going to are available levels. We’re aiming to be again to our 2019 outcomes by 2024. We did set a forecast for 2021 and went virtually 21% over our goal for final 12 months. Thus in 2021, our tourism revenues virtually doubled in comparison with 2020, as they grew from JOD1 billion to 1.9 billion.
What are your expectations for 2022?
I’ll begin with the investments. I wish to emphasise that investments by no means stopped in 2020 and 2021 though we had been going through tough instances. It is because the Ministry continued to offer out licenses to tourism companies to work. And these efforts will go on. We undertaking JOD2.9 billion in revenues for 2022, and consider that this would possibly even be exceeded. However this not solely is determined by Jordan, but additionally on the worldwide restoration, which we’ve to take it in account in our calculation.
What are your priorities within the promotion of Jordan as a journey vacation spot now?
In 2020 and 2021, the primary focus was to save lots of our most important points of interest, to be able to save tourism and to save lots of the individuals who rely 100% on tourism. Stunning locations akin to Petra had been at a essential level. We then put all our efforts into ensuring these most important points of interest may survive and be able to welcome vacationers once more. As we are actually welcoming again vacationers to Jordan, our consideration has shifted to rural areas – smaller native communities and new locations – to unfold the advantages.
What are the hygiene and well being protocols for travellers?
We have now wise and sensible options in place for our guests. As of March 1, Jordan guests would not be required to take a PCR take a look at earlier than coming into the nation or take one other PCR take a look at upon arrival at airports and different entry factors. Guests will nonetheless should signal a pledge to get examined in the event that they really feel coronavirus signs and comply with self-isolate in the event that they contract COVID-19. The protocol that we’re implementing is a part of our greatest well being practices to offer security to guests. A vital element which we’re all pleased with, is that within the final two years, Jordan’s well being system didn’t collapse below the stress and pressure of the pandemic. It is a large asset for all.
As-Salt was named UNESCO world heritage in 2021 however is little identified to worldwide travellers. What are your plans to lift consciousness of this historic metropolis among the many journey group?
The message behind As-Salt being a UNESCO World Heritage Website is to start with of the coexistence and regular life between the completely different communities residing there – akin to Muslims and Christians. It’s greater than tolerance because it exhibits a totally built-in regular life among the many numerous native communities. It is a crucial message for humanity, particularly because it comes from the Center-East. Vacationer programmes are at present being elaborated to point out not solely the great thing about As-Salt’s structure and tradition however its every day life, and set up As-Salt as a “must-see” for anybody visiting Jordan.