AMMAN — Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) on Sunday received a Jordanian airline carrying 267 Nigerian tourists who came to the Kingdom for religious tourism, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and the Jordan Tourism Board, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The ministry said that the religious trip to the Kingdom is of great importance, as it is accompanied by the official envoy of the Nigerian president, head of the Evangelical Church and the Nigerian Christian Pilgrimage head and his assistants.
Tourism Minister Nayef Fayez pointed out that Jordan is one of the most prominent religious tourism destinations in the world, due to its religious and cultural diversity and values of tolerance and coexistence.
He indicated that Jordan views Christianity and other religions through the lens of the Amman Message, which emphasises moderation and tolerance.
The minister added that the Nigerian tourists’ trips to Jordan will focus on the Christian sites in the Kingdom.
He also indicated that these trips signal the beginning of the gradual return to the tourism, pointing out that Jordan has an opportunity to attract tourists from Nigeria for the purpose of medical tourism as well.
The stay of Nigerian tourists expands over eight days and their accommodations will be mainly in Amman and the Dead Sea area.
Attracting Nigerian tourists came within the board’s plan for the current year, which focuses on both Islamic and Christian religious tourism.
CEO of Jordan Aviation Zuhair Khashman said that efforts to attract religious tourism to Jordan from Nigeria are among the company’s plans to expand in Africa and East Asia.
He referred to the agreement to bring 5,000 pilgrims from Nigeria between July 24 and September 15.
Khashman said that the second round of Nigerian trips to the Kingdom will start next November, expecting the total number of Nigerian tourists to reach 20,000 throughout the next two years. Khashman expects 250 to 300 tourists per trip.
Khashman extended his thanks and appreciation for the ministries’ efforts to overcome all difficulties to help this national project succeed.
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