Jordan's tourism sector navigates through political, economic turbulence


Published: 2023-11-18 17:31

Last Updated: 2024-05-27 16:43

Jordan's tourism sector navigates through political, economic turbulence
Jordan's tourism sector navigates through political, economic turbulence

The tourism sector is one of the most affected by political and economic events, with the impact of wars being particularly significant, often taking a long time to recover.

Jordan experienced this firsthand over the past years, culminating in the war on Gaza due to the proximity and potential expansion of conflict in the region.

In 2019, Jordan's tourism thrived, witnessing a nearly 10 percent increase in visitors, leading to an approximately 11 percent rise in tourism revenue.

However, the sector faced a shock in 2020 due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in closures of borders and airports.

Tourist numbers plummeted by a striking 77 percent, accompanied by a 76 percent decrease in tourism revenue.

The year 2021 marked the beginning of a slow recovery, with tourist numbers surpassing two million, though tourism revenue did not reach the pre-pandemic level of JD 2 billion.

Despite the positive trajectory in 2021, the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2022 did not negatively impact tourism in Jordan.

Tourism indicators continued to show growth, reaching levels comparable to 2019 before the onset of the pandemic.

Throughout the current year, the tourism sector maintained positive momentum, with over five million tourists and tourism revenue exceeding JD 4 billion by the end of September 2022.

However, the tide turned in October with a 10 percent decline in the number of tourists entering the country due to the start of Operation Aqsa Typhoon.

The tourism revenue also dropped by 8.2 percent.

As the aggression on Gaza intensified, concerns grew about the widening scope of the war in the region. This led to the cancellation of hotel reservations, with 80 percent of bookings being canceled, especially from American and European tourists.

The final months of the current year are now considered a foreign tourism season, with ongoing impacts on reservations.

The effects persisted into November, when no new tourist bookings were recorded, and the remaining hotel reservations did not exceed 30 percent.

Despite these challenges, there are lingering concerns about their greater repercussions on the tourism sector, a vital contributor to economic growth.