Daily rate of tourists to Petra witnesses huge decline after Oct. 7


Published: 2024-01-29 14:47

Last Updated: 2024-05-25 22:09

Daily rate of tourists to Petra witnesses huge decline after Oct. 7
Daily rate of tourists to Petra witnesses huge decline after Oct. 7

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority, Fares Braizat, stated that the tourism sector in Petra was tremendously affected, adding that Petra suffered from a decline of approximately 400 visitors daily after the events of Oct. 7, 2023.

This has a significant impact on hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, transportation, and guides, as well as all service providers in the Petra region, whether they are individuals offering local services or large-scale companies, he added.

Petra used to receive between 5,000 to 6,000 visitors daily before Oct. 7.

He indicated that what the authority is currently seeking is to deal with this crisis as an opportunity to mitigate its impact on the tourism sector in case it occurs again.

- Stable tourism projects -

He clarified that this is done by focusing on types of tourism that are not greatly affected by unstable regional conditions, such as faith-based and religious tourism, whether it be Islamic or Christian pilgrimage, or contemplative and therapeutic tourism with a focus on rehabilitation and recovery.

He added that there can also be a focus on adventure tourism and related activities to boost tourist activity and support the local community.

Braizat mentioned that the Ministry of Tourism is implementing a national project in collaboration with specialized teams from the Petra and Aqaba Development Authorities, in addition to tourism associations such as the Hotel and Restaurant Association. The goal is to find ways to revive the tourism sector or alleviate the impact of the crisis on it.

Braizat said that this includes deferring social security contributions, licenses, and other means, emphasizing that it should be part of a comprehensive national policy, rather than just an immediate and limited response.

- Tourism sector faces high operational costs -

For his part, the President of the Petra Hotels Association, Marwan Al-Nawafleh stated that the relevant authorities in the tourism sector have not taken immediate measures to protect the industry during the current crisis.

He added out that the tourism sector faces significant challenges, including previous crises such as the Arab Spring and the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a substantial impact on hotel occupancy rates.

The sector is grappling with high operational costs, leading establishment owners to make tough decisions about opening hotels at prices that do not align with current demand.

Al-Nawafleh explained that operating hotels have incurred significant losses in recent months. Despite reaching out to official authorities to protect employees and the investment sector, there is no timeline or response indicating interaction with their demands.

Al-Nawafleh called for the postponement of their financial obligations to a later time, stating that this would benefit tourists and contribute to easing the financial burdens on the sector.