Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director, Jordan Tourism Board, talks about the importance of tourism in Jordan.
Jordan is working on utilizing its existing assets, zoning in on its heritage, culture, gastronomy, adventure and infrastructure with tourism campaigns designed to attract tourists to Jordan. The tourism sector in Jordan acts as the driver of sustainable economic development and is considered the second fastest growing sector in the Kingdom, and is the largest export sector and a major employer. Jordan witnessed several development projects in some of key tourist attractions, mainly in Aqaba and the Dead Sea, which contribute towards marketing Jordan as a tourist destination and raise its competitiveness within the region. In the recent Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, produced by the World Economic Forum, Jordan ranked 53rd out of 130 countries on the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index. Tourism in Jordan attracts tourists from around the world and is well known for its diverse tourist sites and activities. We are a rich destination with a wide range of tourist attractions, developed tourism infrastructure with a plethora of luxury hotels, resorts and spas, advanced transport infrastructure, and a destination that plays host to many cultural and entertainment events that attract large audiences.
Mr. Adel Amin, Deputy Director & Director Marketing, Jordan Tourism Board comments on how India continues to be an important source market for Jordan
India is an important market for Jordan as we are seeing a lot of traction from our efforts in the market in the past few years. The 2016 Indian arrival figures to Jordan have shown an unprecedented growth of 18.40%, and the same day visitor arrivals from India has declined by 4.50%, which indicates that visitors are now spending more time in the country. We welcome Indian visitors, and are also offering free visa on arrival in Jordan which makes it easier for Indians to travel to the country. India is firmly established as an important market for us and we hope to see it in the top five markets in the future in terms of tourist inflow. The country continues to focus on family tourism and honeymoon travel; and we are expecting many Bollywood films to also be shot there in the near future. The major factors attracting Indian tourists are Jordan’s food, culture, and visa on arrival facility. Major attractions in the country are its capital Amman, the desert landscape of Wadi Rum, Dead Sea, Petra – one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, and the historical ruins of the city of Jerash, Karak, Mount Nebo and Madaba.
|France to form new powerful tourism office
New entity expected to have EUR4 million annual budget
The Cotentin Peninsula – also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula – in the Normandy region of France, will soon see its many tourism boards undergo a major restructuring in the next few months.
By June this year, 11 local tourism boards merged into one big entity and renamed Cotentin Tourist office making it, arguably, one of the most powerful tourism board in the country with an annual budget of EUR4 million. Out of this budget, up to EUR1 million will be kept aside to promote Cotentin worldwide; of which India, Middle East and China will be important focus markets.
Speaking to Guillaume Hamel, the current director of Cherbourg Tourisme and top man in the running to head up the new entity, one gets the feeling that this change will breathe some new life into the French tourism industry.
Currently, France does not have a Ministry of Tourism despite it being the biggest tourist destination in the world.
“It is how it is and we’re still the top tourist destination in the world,” says Hamel. “But, having said that, there is a lot more we can do and once the new structure is in place, we hope to bring in more tourists to the Cotentin Peninsula and showcase the wild and untouched landscapes and beaches we have here.”
So far Normandy has mainly been promoted as a historical war destination focusing on the D-Day Landing beaches, war-cemeteries and World-War Museums. But Hamel wants to widen his pool of tourist attractions and include the preserved natural beauty of the peninsula with its protected heritage sites, middle-aged castles and unique food culture.
“Yes, Cotentin is undeniably steeped in amazing war history; there’s no doubt about that and we’re fiercely proud of it ”, explains Hamel. “But it is just one aspect of what we have to offer. For example, we would like tourists to experience Cotentin’s famous Blue Lobster or oysters among other fresh seafood thanks to one of the longest coastlines in France or Calvados – an apple brandy with apple sorbet that is to be had in the middle of one’s dinner. These are all experiences that you won’t get anywhere else in the world except here in Cotentin.”
Apart from being a gastronomical treat, tourists can also look forward to getting the chance to step inside an actual nuclear submarine at the Cite De La Mer – a maritime museum built to showcase Cherbourg’s nautical prowess. Hamel says he wants to put Cotentin back on the cruise map and promote the region as a hiking destination too.
“The cruise industry is getting bigger and bigger in Europe,” says Hamel. “Cherbourg-en-Cotentin has a long history since the 1900s when we were a transatlantic port. The port of Cherbourg used to receive almost 1000 calls a year, which works out to almost three ships a day going to various places in the world – New York, Buenos Aires, you name it. Currently, we have 65,000 passengers a year and 40 cruise calls. This is one of the main aspects we are going to work on. We also have a fantastic range of premium shore excursions available from Cherbourg on a cruise ship for the day,” he concludes.