AMMAN — This year's Christmas and New Year season, which started on Tuesday, is considered "exceptional", as the number of tourists coming to the Kingdom is ranging between 120,000 and 140,000, Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association member Nabih Rial said on Wednesday.

Rial, who is also the association’s spokesperson, told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that Petra and Wadi Rum reached 90 to 95 per cent occupancy rates this season. He added that most tourists during this period come from traditional western European markets, such as Italy, France and Spain, in addition to tourist from North and South America.

Rial said that tourism is "Jordan's oil", and constitutes some 14 per cent of GDP. The sector employs around 60,000 citizens directly and indirectly, and inbound tourism is a main supporter of local communities, mainly in the south, he said.

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