Jordan wooing Indian tourists

Written by Agencies | Kochi | Updated: Jul 16 2010, 20:11pm hrs
Describing India as a major market, Jordan is wooing tourists from the country to visit its hot spots, including historical ruins and Biblical sites, as it expects over 50,000 visitors this year.

From January to May this year, 20,000 Indians have already visited Jordan, a 95 per cent increase over the previous year, Jordan Tourism Board Marketing Manager for Asia, Maher Salman told reporters here.

Our focus on India incrased in 2009 with aligned efforts in making Jordan a revered destination for a large number of Indian tourists, he said.

Various locations visited by global tourists in 2009-10 include the historical ruins of the city of Petra, Jerash, Karak, Mount Nebo, Madaba and the Dead Sea.

Investment in Jordan was not only limited to it being a tourist destination, but also an investment location for tourism projects including Aqabas Marsa Zayed. It was also a destination for meetings, conferences and events, wellness and leisure, he said.

Jordan had been identified as a short haul destination and Royal Jordanian flies every week from Delhi and Mumbai on a route covered within 5.5 hours.

In 2008, 38,000 Indians visited Jordan, while in 2009 it fell to 29,000 due to global recession. However, in the first five months of this year, 20,000 Indians have already visited Jordan, he said.

The easing of Visa formalities for individuals in November last year had also resulted in the jump of visitors, he said.

In 2009, 3.5 million tourists from various countries visited Jordan and the figure was almost the same the previous year.

Ashish Shama, India Representative in the board, said,At present there were no direct flights from Jordan to South India. However, we are open to start direct flights. Kerala will continue to be a major market for JTD, which is meeting the travel and trade in the state about its new products. The Ministry of Tourism has also confirmed the rise of overnight tourist numbers jumping by 45 per cent during the firs quarter as compared to the same period in 2009.

Jordan is a year long destination with the peak months being March-April. Tourism contributes 14 per cent of Jordans GDP, he said.