King chairs meeting on plans to prop up tourism sector

King chairs meeting on plans to prop up tourism sector

AMMONNEWS – His Majesty King Abdullah II on Sunday chaired a meeting at Al Husseiniyah Palace to follow up on the government’s plans and programs to improve the tourism sector in the Kingdom and raise its contribution to the gross domestic product.

During the meeting, which was attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hussein and Prime Minister Hani Mulki, the King stressed the need to utilize the tourism potentials and the diverse tourist product to maximize the sector’s contribution to the national economy, “so that its impact will positively reflect on local communities and provide jobs to Jordanian youth in the governorates.” The King said he recognised the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to promote the sector and achieve positive growth indicators, urging intensive efforts to build on the indicators to achieve better growth rates.

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He also stressed the need to adopt a strategic and updated perspective for the development of tourism in the Kingdom, and to focus on the distinctive and competitive elements in the products and the tourism markets.

His Majesty pointed out that medical tourism is one of the key economic areas that must grow as a real and advanced industry, which requires working to provide comprehensive and integrated packages of products and services that are attractive to raise the competitiveness of this vital sector.

He said that cooperation and institutional coordination between the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan Tourism Board and Royal Jordanian is important and necessary in supporting the tourism sector and economic development.

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Lina Annab outlined the procedures and achievements made after the Crown Prince’s visit to the ministry in December to follow up on the ministry’s plans to develop the tourism sector and enhance its contribution to economic and social development.

She said that the ministry has devised a strategic plan for the years 2018-2022 to double the number of tourists in the next five years through enhancing the competitiveness of the tourist product, attracting new markets, training human resources and improving the quality of services for tourists.

The strategy, according to the minister, also aims to increase the number of visitors from Jordan and Arab and world countries, noting that the ministry had activated low-cost flights to attract tourist groups and that Ryanair, one of Europe’s largest low-cost airlines, launched flights in March from Paphos, Cyprus, to Amman.

She said that the ministry is in the final stages of signing an agreement with Easyjet to travel from Britain to Aqaba, adding that tourism promotion campaigns have also been launched in Jordan in cooperation with the largest travel companies in the world, in addition to parallel promotional campaigns via social networking sites.

Annab said that the tourism revenue had soared by 12.5% last year, compared to 2016, and that the number of tourists increased by 8.7%, calling the growth rates “very encouraging.” Since the beginning of the year, she said, the tourism sector has been witnessing positive and promising indicators for further growth, noting that Jordan has been selected by several international newspapers and magazines as one of the best global tourist destinations.

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