In this context, Travel2latam had the opportunity to speak with Abed Al-Razzaq Arabiyat Managing Director of Jordan Tourist Board.
What balance could be made of tourism by 2023?
It was a year in which we broke records. In 2023 we had almost 6.2 million visitors to Jordan, 5.4 were overnight stays and 5.3 were tourism receipts. Almost 7.3 billion US dollars by 2023, exceeding pre-pandemic figures. 2019 was the golden year for Jordan, and we are surpassing it by almost 20%.
What kind of objectives do you have for this new season, which is 2024?
In 2024 we are working hard to commercialize religious tourism, Christian tourism in Jordan. We have 45 Christian sites mentioned in the Old and New Testament, and we have the baptism site where Christianity began. We have 4 sites already approved by the Vatican in Jordan and the start of the pilgrimage is at our destination.
Religion is important to attract tourism...
Definitely yes. We are working a lot with the Camino de Santiago here in Spain to have a twinning program with the Religious Camino in Jordan, which goes from Mount Nebo to the place of baptism, this would be very important for Spanish religious. Adventure tourism also stands out, it is another niche in which Jordan has become one of the top 10 worldwide. Like the Jordan Route, according to statistics from Lonely Planet and National Geographic, which is 720 kilometers crossing 75 towns and the diversity of climate and landscape, it is incredible.
Likewise, medical and wellness tourism are also revealing. We are pioneers in this field of Wellbeing, especially in the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on earth. It is the largest natural spa in the world, which is 420 meters below sea level. The oxygen concentration there is 10% higher than anywhere in the world. It is one of the destinations that people seek for well-being, the salt waters, the minerals that are there, are good for skin care and are used in specialized clinics there to treat diseases such as psoriasis. In Jordan we have many patients who come from Germany and other countries to that area.
Of course Jordan has a lot of history and culture.
Petra is iconic and we also have the Greco-Roman city of Gerasa and modern Jerash. We are now working on renovating these sites to be ready to receive more tourists. Also in parallel we work with the private sector, we are building new hotels in Petra and new camps in Wadi rum, with new hotels in Amman.