According to the Petra Development Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), Petra’s record-breaking tourism numbers continued in August, with revenues at the site reaching JD887,000, up 19 per cent from JD743,000 in August 2009.

The PDTRA statistics indicated that 41,000 non-Jordanians visited the ancient Nabataean city last month, a 21 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2009, when 34,000 foreign tourists visited the site.

Meanwhile, revenues generated in the first eight months of the year rose by 42 per cent to reach JD10.8 million, up from JD7.6 million during the same period in 2009, the figures showed.

Approximately 500,000 tourists visited Petra in the January-August period, a 43 per cent growth from the first eight months of 2009, when 348,000 tourists visited the site, the PDTRA revealed.

Tourism officials have praised Petra’s strong showing this summer, a time of year which normally witnesses a lull in tourism activity.

“These figures indicate that we had a very good season this summer, and the indicators we have from tour operators and hotel owners show that this fall will be good as well,” PDTRA Chief Commissioner Nasser Shraideh told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday.

According to Shraideh, preliminary figures provided by tour operators and hotels indicate that more than 800,000 non-Arab visitors will tour the ancient Nabataean city by the end of the year. Tourism figures are set to exceed the levels of 2008, when a record 802,000 people visited the rose-red city.

Shraideh said this year’s “successful” showing is the direct result of cooperation between the authority and the private sector.

Despite the record tourism numbers, further work is needed to encourage visitors to extend their stays in the Petra region, he stressed.

“We are still aiming to increase the number of visitors and their length of stays through improving services and infrastructure as well as marketing,” the official said.
Source: Jordan Times