AMMAN — In a significant move to enhance tourism and connectivity, Ryanair, Europe’s leading airline, and the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) have signed a renewal of their collaboration agreement until 2028, marking a vital milestone in fostering Jordan’s tourism industry growth, allowing more travellers to explore the wonders of the Kingdom.
The signing ceremony was attended by Minister of Tourism and Antiquities and JTB Chairman Makram Queisi, CEO of Ryanair Eddie Wilson and JTB Managing Director Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat.
This agreement plans to introduce four new routes (Amman-Pisa, Brussels, Marseille and Aqaba-Madrid) totalling 25 routes connecting Jordan to 12 European cities, reinforcing the nation’s position as a sought-after travel destination, and creating over 500 aviation jobs, according to a statement from the airline.
In a joint interview with The Jordan Times, Wilson and Arabiyat shared insights into the renewed collaboration and its impact on tourism growth in Jordan.
Talking about the common goals between Ryanair and the JTB, Wilson emphasised the importance of enabling tourists to allocate more of their budgets to experiences rather than hefty travel expenses.
“Access costs with Ryanair are low, which means that people who come here get to retain more of their money to spend on what they actually want to spend,” he noted, adding that Ryanair has a competitive advantage of connecting 92 different airports across Europe to Jordan, making the country accessible to a vast range of markets.
“We’re on a good growth trajectory here. We have a five-year vision to grow traffic in the coming period,” Wilson emphasised.
Arabiyat stressed the strategic significance of the partnership in introducing new tourists to Jordan and enhancing the Kingdom’s visibility globally.
“Our partnership with Ryanair is a great asset for the economy and tourism — we need to grow more. Ryanair brings diverse types of tourists to Jordan, and we are working hard to cater to their varying needs,” he said.
He further added that the JTB continuously strives to improve the quality of its service, and commended the joint work between the board and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
During the signing ceremony, Queisi also underlined the key role of the low-cost carrier in attracting tourists to Jordan, highlighting the positive change in the Kingdom’s tourism industry in recent years, especially after the sector began to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 715,660 passengers passed through Queen Alia International Airport until the end of July last year, while 135,255 travellers passed through the airport between the beginning of this year and the end of July. With more than 100 weekly flights, it is expected that over 600,000 passengers would travel to and from Jordan annually, contributing to a potential growth rate of up to 30 per cent compared with the previous year, according to a JTB statement.
Both Wilson and Arabiyat agreed that another key aspect of this strategic partnership is marketing, which would increase awareness about Jordan’s tourism offerings and products.
Ryanair’s assistance in these efforts is key, as its impressive online presence has over 7.6 million followers across all its social media channels, according to the statement.
“The good thing about working with Ryanair is that they give us the flexibility to control the promotional content, including visuals and the messaging we want to convey to consumers,” said Arabiyat during the interview.
He also highlighted the country’s tourism brand titled “Kingdom in Time”, alongside its new calendar.jo service that aggregates all events happening across the Kingdom, marking a step towards achieving its strategic tourism promotion vision.
Wilson did not spare praises for the JTB’s hard work and deep understanding of the tourism industry, and what is needed for its success.
“One of the key aspects of this partnership is its stability. The JTB understands that it is important to have access to our ecosystem of people. This year alone, we will have over 183 million travellers flying with us.”
The collaboration between Ryanair and the JTB extends beyond tourism, leading to a positive impact on job creation.
“Jordan has been our biggest external maintenance market since we started operating here in 2018, and I am sure that we will grow even more to support additional local jobs,” Wilson stated.
Arabiyat shared a heartening observation of the change the partnership has brought to Jordan’s cities, stating, “the airports hire more people, handlers, drivers, engineers — King Hussein Airport is a great example of what Ryanair did for the employment industry.”
Addressing concerns about overtourism, Arabiyat reassured that Jordan is taking proactive measures to balance growth and ensure sustainable tourism.
“The Jordanian government is fully aware of the negative impacts, and we are making sure that nothing will threaten the position of World Heritage Sites. We have a smart site management plan that keeps everything in check,” he said.
With enhanced connectivity, diverse experiences, and a commitment to sustainability, the Kingdom looks forward to welcoming more tourists and sharing its rich cultural heritage with the world.
Arabiyat summarised the joint vision, saying: “Jordan is not only Petra. We have a lot of hidden gems and unique experiences which we’ll jointly promote with Ryanair in the coming period.”
© Copyright The Jordan Times. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).