The Jordan Tourism Board is delighted to announce fantastic results for UK visitor numbers in 2009 and even more positive results for the first month of 2010.
In 2009, 63,172 UK holidaymakers visited Jordan, up 3% on the 61,324 figure of 2008 despite the economic challenges faced by Brits.
It was the final quarter of 2009 which saw a significant rise in overnight visitor numbers - November and December 2009 saw 56.6% and 51.7% increases on the same months in 2008 respectively.
January 2010 is proving so far to be the strongest month in terms of increased numbers for the UK market, up by a whopping 76.9% on Jan 2009 (6,267 overnight visitors compared to 3,543 in January 2009).
This is fabulous news for the Jordan Tourism Board UK office, which has been proactively supporting the UK travel trade through investment in fam trips, agent training, joint marketing initiatives throughout 2009.
JTB is also noticing an increased trend in independent travel to Jordan. It is perceived more and more as an accessible and welcoming destination and with an increased public desire to explore lesser known corners of the world and the increasing ease of travellers to do so, Jordan is no longer considered as “exotic” as it once was. Jordan benefits from being one of the safest destinations to visit in the Middle East as well as being friendly towards the Western World – indeed, it is considered amongst consumers to be “The Switzerland of the Middle East”.
Jordan is a niche product; a “Must See” destination due to its hugely rich cultural, historical and biblical heritage with sites and attractions such as Petra, Jerash, Bethany Beyond the Jordan (Christ’s baptism site) and Mount Nebo, as well as its spectacular natural wonders including the Dead Sea and the desert landscape of Wadi Rum. Because of this, Jordan is a destination that often, travellers consider visiting for a long time before making a decision to book. A lot of time and research goes into the planning process which means that holidaymakers to Jordan will be less influenced by factors such as fluctuating exchange rates, economic slowdowns or price, in the same way that those who holiday in Europe for example might be.
Furthermore, Jordan appeals on many different levels, offering adventure, culture, history, spa, eco-tourism, and religious tourism and thus, satisfies a wide variety of travel needs and requirements.
David Symes, JTB country manager for UK and Ireland, says “We are delighted with these recently published figures which are evidence of the various initiatives we are engaged in on an ongoing basis to promote Jordan within the UK market and ensure that the destination is front-of-mind for the consumer, catering for an array of different and indeed unique holiday experiences. We have considerably increased our travel trade budget this year to drive business to Jordan through tour operators and travel agents and we are present at the majority of the top consumer travel shows to continue to encourage independent travel to the destination. With such promising figures so early in the year, we are confident that visitor numbers to Jordan will show a month on month increase over 2009 figures throughout 2010.”
Overall figures for visitors to Jordan in 2009 show a small drop of only 1.3% down on 2008 (406,405 and 411,923 respectively) which, considering the global nature of the economic crisis, is a satisfactory result for the JTB. As regards statistics so far for 2010, numbers are indeed looking very positive with visitor numbers up this January by 28.8% on the same period in 2009 (31,045 compared to 24,096).
Based on these figures, the Jordan Tourism Board is anticipating positive results throughout the year for both the UK market and overall.