DESPITE CHALLENGES, JORDAN’S TOURISM INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO EXCEED ALL EXPECTATIONS.

FROM DEVELOPING NICHE SEGMENTS TO ATTRACTING INVESTMENTS AND NEW MARKETS, SEASONED VETERANS ARE MORE DETERMINED THAN EVER.

“Unfortunately, the current situation has had an impact on the entire Levant region and put more pressure on the tourism sector [which is] showing further declines compared to previous years. However, Jordan was the least affected country compared to others as it is known for its safe and secure atmosphere among neighbouring countries,” confirmed Tarek Madanat, area director, sales and marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group.

He acknowledged that this year, business across the company’s portfolio was slower than initially forecasted, mainly due to incidents that have taken place in the region over the past months, creating more tension and negatively affecting tourists’ decision to travel to this part of the world.

Regional instability mainly took its toll on the leisure sector, especially on demand for joint packages with other destinations, as Ziaf Fostuq, general manager, Belle Vue Hotel Amman, revealed.

But not all is gloomy – on the contrary, Jordan’s versatile travel and tourism industry managed to skillfully sustain and nourish other niche markets, such as corporate and MICE travel. For Belle Vue Hotel Amman, these two sectors were the strongest performers this year, in addition to business generated from non-governmental organisations, Fostuq explained.

Another lucrative segment that remains undeterred is wedding, confirmed Madanat.

“Weddings will continue to be a good market regardless of what is really happening in the region,” he enthused, further revealing that the same applies for business as well as medical and wellness tourism.

Further testifying to the strength and resilience of the industry was Margo Kattan, sales coordinator, Le Méridien Amman, who highlighted that tourism still has a strong potential to boost overall economic growth and drive
employment.

“Despite setbacks that have occurred, the sector has demonstrated several encouraging performance trends, including an increase in the ratio of overnight visitors, surge in package tours and a rise in tourism investment inflows, particularly driven by a number of significant hotel and resort investments in Aqaba.”

Expressing her belief in the country’s tourism product and its wide-appealing offerings, Kattan deemed Jordan well-positioned to move away from being a regional, multi-country destination and evolve into a stand-alone one, with a broad portfolio of offerings that have year-round appeal.