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French Version

Tourism in the Kingdom Declines seen, but domestic tourism increases

AMMAN (Star)-Proceeds from tourism witnessed a gradual decline in the Kingdom this year.

Proceeds from tourism witnessed a gradual decline in the Kingdom this year. A recent study by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities indicated public earnings from tourism for 2001 decreased 3.6 percent prior to 31 October, for an estimated JD 431.1 million loss. Last year's proceeds were JD 447.1 million. The study also stated Jordanian expenditures on tourism increased this year by 7.9 percent to JD 223.7 million. This includes Jordanian tourists who went abroad for entertainment and medical reasons. The number of tourists coming to the Kingdom in 2001 did increase by 2.6 percent over last year to 1322 million tourists. Nearly 23 percent of these tourists came from North America, Europe and the Far East. Arab tourists to Jordan made up 65.3 percent. Palestinians coming from the 1948 territories comprised 12.13 percent. The study highlighted the issue of tourist transit into the Kingdom. Tourists choosing to fly were 24.3 percent of the overall, the remaining 74.2 chose to enter the Kingdom by land.
The study was conducted through a special committee assigned by the Ministry. It was aimed at assessing the tourism sector in the Kingdom in light of the current downturn in international tourism. The study focused on the flow of tour groups to the Kingdom and hotel occupancies over the last 10 months. The number of tourists groups entering the Kingdom declined by 48.7 percent to 168,486. Compare this to 328,430 tour groups in 2000. Tourist groups spent 787,147 nights in Jordan, a 22 percent drop from 2000. The daily average number of tourists arriving in the Kingdom has also reduced. This time it was a 73 percent decline to 15,365 tourists per day.

Hotel occupancy felt this decline as well. The number of tourist occupying beds decreased by 12.5 percent to 2.22 million beds in the first nine months of 2001. This year saw tourists occupy some 1.34 million rooms. Amman's hotels were at the top of the list with more than 1.5 million nights spent in the capital in 2001. That was followed by Aqaba with 370,835 nights and the Dead Sea with 94,210 nights, all in the first nine months of 2001.



Amman,03December2001
The Star redaction
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