|25 May, 2016

Tourism stakeholders eye deal with global network to allow online booking

Tourism Minister Nayef Al Fayez cited a need to increase the use of technology in the promotion of Jordan as a touristic destination.

25 May 2016
AMMAN -- The global competition among touristic destinations created a growing need for integrating technology into the sector, experts said Tuesday.

Tourism Minister Nayef Al Fayez cited a need to increase the use of technology in the promotion of Jordan as a touristic destination all over the world through the Internet, adding that this issue was incorporated into the ministry's strategy for this year.

With the availability of numerous websites and online portals that provide touristic services and allow customers to plan for and book their trips from A to Z, the promotion of the local products must rise to that level and offer added value to exiting products to render them more competitive, the minister said. 

Jordan Hotels Association President Michael Nazzal underlined the need to provide enough information about Jordan to potential visitors online, a matter that would increase the number of tourists and willing investors.

He said hotels in Jordan are of current capacity of 30,000 rooms, a figure that is expected to double in 10 years. This can happen if Jordan is promoted well to investors as an attractive destination, he said.

He noted that the measures the government has taken to support the sector, which included tax reduction, is a step forward to encourage investments.

For his part, Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) Managing Director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat cited statistics that show up to 90 per cent of tourists book their trips online, and that includes airlines, hotels, rented cars and activities.

He added that local tourism promotion websites and online portals, including those of the JTB, share information about Jordan and create traffic, but without an online booking engine connected to them, the customers are lost.

He expressed hopes for signing agreements with Sabre, a world travel network that offers high-tech solutions, in the near future, as it provides this needed match between the promotion and the booking, which increases the number of visitors.

The company's newly appointed country manager in Jordan Yassar Majali noted that the company would work in partnership with all concerned parties in private and public sectors to enhance the performance of Jordan's tourism sector.

Sabre CEO Daniel Naoumovitch noted that the global travel spending processed by his Bahrain-based company reached $120 billion in 2015 through some 450,000 agents in 144 countries.

He added that Jordan, which is currently the hub of the company's work in the Levant region, has "tremendous opportunities" for becoming a key destination for tourists in the region, especially with enhancing the use of technology in the tourism sector.

Sabre partners with airlines, hotels and travel agencies to market, sell, serve and operate their businesses through innovative ways to plan, purchase and manage the perfect travel experience, according to their website.

© Jordan Times 2016

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