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New International Gateway: Jordanian Seaside Resort Aqaba

New International Gateway:  Jordanian Seaside Resort Aqaba

Tourists are arriving into Jordan through its backdoor, the Seaside Resort of Aqaba. The Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) is looking for new inbound market. Sandwiched between Middle East trouble spots, this peaceful kingdom should be a top tourism destination for anyone on the hunt for culture and a true Middle East experience, but its location, not the daily reality, is making it difficult.

On Saturday, the first charter flight with 167 passengers and holiday seekers from the Ukraine arrived in the Southern Jordanian Seaside Resort city Aqaba under a new agreement to boost tourism.

Under the agreement, signed by Jordan Experience and the Ukraine’s Feerie Travel, weekly charter flights will be operated from Kiev to Aqaba’s King Hussein International Airport until January 2017, and from March until November 2017.

The agreement is part of JTB’s efforts to boost tourism and follows its strategy to support charter flights, under which tourists who arrive on the low-cost flights must stay in hotels in Jordan for seven nights. This was outlined by JTB Director General Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat to the local Jordan Times News

Also on Saturday, and with support from the JTB, the fifth weekly charter flight arrived in Aqaba from Hungary, carrying 122 tourists. 

The JTB created a  scheme for airlines as well as local and international travel agents offering incentives on the condition that flights go directly to Aqaba, Arabiyat said, adding that there will be charter flights coming from Russia as well. 

Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Chief Commissioner Nasser Shraideh highlighted the importance of collaboration between the Tourism Ministry, ASEZA and the JTB to deliver tourists the best experiences in Jordan.  

These routes are possible due to the Jordanian government’s recent decision to exempt organised flights from fees and taxes.

According to Jordan Tourism Minister Lina Annab foreign tourists bring around JD2.3  (USD 3.2) billion to the Kingdom annually, while domestic tourism contributes JD 70-80 million. (USD 100 Million)

The current focus is on types of tourism, rather than markets, she said, such as adventure tourism. 

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