January to April Visitors Increase Up to 12.5 Percent

In a further sign of a turnaround in Jordan’s tourism sector, the number of visitors to the Kingdom rose 12.5 percent during the first four months of the year.

The overall number of tourists reached 1.639 million between January and April, up from 1.457 million during the same period in 2016, the Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB), Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, told The Jordan Times.

There was a notable rise in the number of visitors from the Far East, Arabiyat said, which was achieved in part by the opening of a JTB office in China two years ago and a social media marketing campaign.

Arabiyat said the JTB was also training more Mandarin-speaking tour guides to cater for rising numbers of Chinese visitors, who mainly visit Petra, the Dead Sea, and Wadi Rum.

The number of African visitors increased by nearly 28.8 percent over the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2016, while visitors from the Americas rose by around 19.3 percent, Europe by 18.3 percent, and Arab countries by 7.6 percent over the same period.

Arabiyat said the JTB and the Ministry of Tourism would continue to help fund the “Al Urdun Ahla” campaign to encourage domestic tourism, which includes the Jerash and Fuheis festivals.