A delegation of students from the Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, headed by Dr. Salem Harahsheh, visited the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) in Amman to know the JTB's new strategy in destination marketing and promotion for the kingdom, and to understand the latest developments in this field. The delegation included students of tourism marketing, and students of tourism products at the bachelor level and master students of marketing tourism destinations course. In the beginning, the Director General of the JTB, Dr. Abdul RazzaqArabiyatwelcomed the delegation, and praised the cooperation between the JTB as a marketing arm and universities, especially Yarmouk University as an educational arm to prepare students to engage in work after graduation.
Dr. Arabiyat explained in detail the mechanism of work of the JTB and the reality of tourism in Jordan and the most important tourism products they market promote in traditional and potential target markets. The director general said that the JTB was established in 1998 as a partnership between the public and private sectors as an arm for the marketing and promotion of Jordan as a tourist destination in international markets. He stressed that God has gifted Jordan with peace and security in a volatile environment, helps to some extent in marketing and promoting the kingdom as a safe tourist destination. Jordan processes uniquetourism products rarely found in the world, including Petra, the Baptism site, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum. This is in addition to other tourist and archaeological sites such as Jerash, the Citadel of Amman and Gadara.
Dr. Arabiyat reviewed the latest developments and the growth of the number of tourists coming to the Jordanfrom the most important traditional markets such as Britain, France, Spain and Italy, as well as new and promising markets such as the Asian, especially the Indian and Chinese markets, as well as the Russian market, which Jordan is competing with others in this market. The Arab market, which still constitute (70%) of the total number of tourists coming to Jordan, especially the Saudi market. According to statistics of the Ministry of Tourism in 2016, the total number of overnight tourists from the US market reached 200 thousand tourists, mostly from the United States and Canada; the European market 450 thousand tourists, mostly from Israel, Britain, Germany, Russia and France. The Asian market has reached 250,000 tourists, mostly from India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia. The Arab market has the lion's share of 1.5 million tourists, mostly from the Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, and then the ‘market’ of Jordanian expatriates by 1.4 million.
Dr. Arabiyat spoke about the competitive indicators for the tourism and travel sector in 2017, where Jordan ranked 8thamong the Arab countries and ranked 75thin the world in a survey covered 136 countries. However, he addressed the problems and impediments to the development and growth of tourism in Jordan, namely: the incomplete infra and the suprastructures to accommodate a larger number of tourists; the escalating high prices of the Jordanian tourist products compared to neighbouring countries; the lack of direct flights to Jordan from the exporting countries of tourists, especially the European market; and the lack of financial resources allocated to the JTB to carry out its marketing and promotional work in fullest. Dr. Arabiyat explained that the marketing strategy of the JTB was normally prepared for a period of five years, but as of this year it has been implemented for (3) years in line with the changes and developments in the international tourism market and the external factors affecting the inflow of tourists such as wars and terrorism. He added, in line with the latest technological advancements in the field of marketing and promotion, the JTB has turned its activities and promotional campaigns into electronic marketing and electronic promotion, where most of the representative offices of the JTB abroad have been closed.
Dr. Arabiyat said that the Authority could bring a number of low-cost carriers to King Hussein Airport in Aqaba and Marka Airport in Amman after the government’s decision to abolish taxes on these companies such as EasyJet and Ryanair. Consequently, this will have a significant impact on the flow of tourists to Jordan and increase tourism receipts, which consequently will increasetourism investments and employment, and ultimately improving Jordan’s tourism image in the world.