08 June, 2015

Gov't to boost tourism board budget for promotional campaigns in int'l, regional markets

The Cabinet on Sunday decided to increase the budget of the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) to enable it to promote the Kingdom's tourist attractions.

08 June 2015
AMMAN -- The Cabinet on Sunday decided to increase the budget of the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) to enable it to promote the Kingdom's tourist attractions in regional and international markets, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

The news item carried by the agency did not specify the volume of funds to be pumped into the JTB, whose budget for 2015 was JD7.5 million. 

Top executives at JTB have repeatedly complained that the "modest" budget was not enough to promote the Kingdom globally. 

According to the Cabinet decision, the support to the JTB budget, which comes at a time of unprecedented decline in the number of tourists due to regional instability, aims at enabling the board to carry out promotional campaigns in regional and international markets to highlight the Kingdom's tourist, historical and religious sites in addition to the security advantage. 

Tourism Minister Nayef Al Fayez briefed the Cabinet on the ministry's plan to boost the performance of the sector, Petra reported. 

The agency quoted Fayez as saying that the ministry and private sector stakeholders have prepared a list of measures included in an action plan to rescue the tourism sector, focusing on launching promotion campaigns in traditional and new markets. 

JTB Managing Director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat said the marketing campaign includes more promotional activities in the Gulf and Arab markets in addition to targeting foreign tourists. 

He said media and advertisement campaigns will be broadcast on a number of Arab and international TV channels, noting that marketing will also be boosted in the Asian market. 

Arabiyat told the Council of Ministers that promotion campaigns targeting consumers directly in large cities across the world will be launched through advertisements on trains, buses, taxis and billboards in public squares. 

The plan also includes mechanisms to enhance religious and adventure tourism in addition to highlighting the country as a conference destination. 

Fayez highlighted the importance of the set of measures the Cabinet approved some two months ago that aimed at salvaging the tourism sector, such as reducing electricity tariffs for hotels and annulling entry visa fees for visitors who buy unified tickets for tourist sites. 

The Cabinet also lowered the fees for visitors entering through land border crossings from JD40 to JD10 and removed the special tax on tickets for regular flights from Amman to Aqaba. 

In a meeting he held with sector representatives and investors in March this year, His Majesty King Abdullah highlighted Jordan's edge as "an oasis of peace and security" and the need to use available capabilities to enhance the country's tourist attractions regionally and internationally.

King Abdullah stressed the important role of the tourism sector and its significant contribution to sustainable growth and job creation.

© Jordan Times 2015