PETRA2_bigJordan is targeting a 20 per cent increase in the number of Indians visiting the Kingdom this year, the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) said. According to JTB Director General Nayef Fayez, some 29,000 Indian tourists visited Jordan in 2009, following the opening of a JTB office in New Delhi last April.

Last year, the government unveiled several measures to target emerging tourist markets in order to mitigate the impact of the global downturn in the sector.

Under the measures, citizens of India are no longer required to apply for a visa at a Jordanian embassy in their country and groups and individuals travelling to the Kingdom through tour operators can receive a visa upon arrival.

“The Indian market is a very important part of the Asian market, particularly since the Indian economy has not been negatively affected by the global financial crisis,” Fayez told The Jordan Times in a phone interview yesterday.

As part of promotions in India, JTB’s office in New Delhi participated in the “Fourth World Gujarati Conference” that took place in Ahmedabad recently.

Despite a global downturn in the tourism industry in 2009, the Kingdom’s tourism sector weathered the impact of the financial crisis and practically sustained what was considered a benchmark year in 2008.

Figures released by the Central Bank of Jordan last month showed a 1.2 per cent drop in 2009 tourism revenues, which stood at JD2.064 billion, compared with JD2.089 billion in the preceding year.

Also, the number of visitors witnessed a 0.2 per cent drop in 2009, standing at 7,084,552 compared with 7,100,483 in 2008.

Ministry of Tourism figures showed an increase in the number of overnight visitors, which rose by 1.6 per cent to 3,788,891, up from 3,728,724 the year before, while the number of same-day tourists declined by 2.3 per cent to 3,295,660.
Source: Jordan Times