The border crossing fees imposed world tourism companies to head to Jordan
Alanbat – Aqaba: Mohammad Alkhawaldah
Aqaba Port has received last Thursday and Saturday, two cruise ships with 3080 tourists on board from different European nationalities.
The Commissioner of Economic, Development and Tourism in Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority Mr. Shurahbil Madi said to Alanbat that the first cruise ship had 1480 tourists on board while the second ship had 1600 tourists.
He mentioned that the reason for the ships to unload in Aqaba is the fees imposed by the border crossing which is 60JD and 10JD for departure tax.
He noted that these ships used to moor in Eilat and tourists would head to Petra in a one-day visit.
Mr. Madi said that the World Tourism companies which organize such trips realized that mooring Aqaba for 2 nights is more productive from paying these fees recovered by tourists unless he is a visitor for one night.
He also mentioned that ships loaded with tourists will land in Aqaba this week to visit the golden triangle of Aqaba, Rum and Petra.
Madi stressed that Aqaba is ready to receive cruise ships that will arrive respectively during the current month and the next few months, bringing the total number of tourists to more than 40,000 tourists, visiting Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba, which will stimulate the European tourism in South Jordan.
Madi said that the special authority worked to promote the golden triangle in European countries through tourism conferences held in past years which led to the success of these efforts to attract more than 40,000 tourists via cruise ships, stressing that tourism in Aqaba, is active during the current period, where it is expected for large number of giant cruise ships carrying tourists from various European countries, and America to visit Aqaba, Wadi Rum and Petra.
Aqaba today is the ideal environment for tourist business investment, for what it provides of laws and regulations which form a guarantee to investors and tourists.
Madi considered the active tourist and trading mobility in Aqaba on holidays and weekends, would contribute greatly to the revitalization of tourism and economic development in the city. Adding that the authority and others concerned parties is providing all basic requirements on beaches and places of entertainment service for residents and visitors.
The Commissioner said that the percentage of visitors to the city of Aqaba during February and March was more than 32% comparing to the same period in previous years. As a result of the increase of visitors during second Aqaba Carnival, this was held in the month of February. Where the percentage of visitors was around 120 000 visitors in one month only, stressing that the Special Authority will work next year to expand the Carnival and its activities by including the largest possible number of hotels and tourism service providers in Aqaba, including recreation and marine.
Mr. Madi explained that the Special Authority tends through the cooperation with all relevant parties to reach to non-traditional tourist markets, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of tourism market, which is facing reduction as a result of many factors of tension in the region in General.