AMMAN — The ongoing war in Gaza has taken a toll on Jordan’s tour guide sector, which relies heavily on foreign visitors. The demand for tour guides has been on the decline as the current geopolitical situation in the region deters potential tourists, according to stakeholders.

Hani Masaadah, the president of the Jordan Tour Guides Association, told The Jordan Times that “around 90 per cent of tour guides are currently not operating, despite being an active period for the sector. Nearly 800 tour guides offer their services in English, while about 600 guides speak German, Italian, French and Spanish”, he said.

He also stressed the importance of creating a competitive environment amid present conditions in order to attract tourists.

Talking to tour guides and operators who are experiencing lower demand, they told The Jordan Times that the unfortunate situation in Gaza is increasing the hurdles for various industries in the Kingdom, particularly affecting the tourism sector and overall travel demand.

“The Gaza war has had a significant negative impact on the region’s tourism sector…and in Jordan, a myriad of tourism offices do not receive any profit for days,” Essa Tareq, an employee at a local tour guide agency, told The Jordan Times over the phone.

They told The Jordan Times that they are “anxiously” observing the current circumstances as the crisis’ economic impact had extended far beyond the war zone.

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