Number of tourists dropped by 14% in 2013 — official report
The number of tourists who visited the Kingdom in 2013 witnessed a 14 per cent decrease compared to a year earlier, according to official figures.
An official report issued in response to a query by The Jordan Times showed that 5,388,917 tourists visited Jordan in 2013, a drop from 6,314,250 in 2012. Figures showed that there was a 32.9 per cent drop in the number of same-day visitors, with 1,443,557 tourists coming to the country last year, compared with 2,151,883 in 2012. There also was a 5.2 per cent drop in the number of overnight visitors in 2013, when 3,495,360 tourists came to Jordan, compared with 4,162,367 tourists a year before.
The regional turmoil is still the main reason to blame for the drop in the number of overall visitors to the Kingdom, according to Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, director general of the Jordan Tourism Board. Arabiyat noted that the number of European tourists was lower than in previous years due to the impact of the economic crisis, citing figures issued by the UN World Tourism Organisation. He said 80 per cent of European tourists travelled within the European zone, while only 20 per cent of tourists travelled to other continents.
Jordan, Arabiyat said, should offer more for Arab tourists to attract more visitors from the region. “We need to provide more to the Arab market, and work on entertainment activities and family attractions to encourage tourists to extend their stay,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone.
Only 671,599 Europeans visited Jordan last year, a 12.5 per cent drop compared to 2012, according to the figures. Arab tourists topped the list of visitors to the Kingdom last year, with 3,083,848 visitors. The majority of Arab tourists were from Saudi Arabia, standing at 1,079,361 visitors.