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Doing the nation a disfavour

Nov 03,2014 - Last updated at Nov 03,2014

In a country with scarce natural resources, tourism can be a gold mine. Jordan is a case in point, only some officials in the tourism sector are doing their nation a disfavour.

A group of friends was visiting Jordan for the first time. Having only four days and wanting to see as much as possible, we tried to plan their daily agenda.

However, because we were given the wrong visiting times by both the Ministry of Tourism and the Jordan Tourism Board, they could not see Jerash because it was closed.

The person we paid the entrance fee to at the Baptism site turned out to be our guide. His English was terrible, but he turned out to be the only element that made the unnecessary wait for the two-way bus somehow amusing.

It was the same story at Amman Beach, where JTB gave us wrong information regarding the entrance fees and where, apparently, if there are no women in the group, one cannot enter.

The minister of tourism should leave the comfort of his office, go undercover for a day, and see the disappointing state of affairs we have come to.

I also suggest that ministry officials try to use a public restroom at one of the jewels of Jordan’s tourist sites.

Jerash, for example. A disgrace!

Fees at some sites have been upped, but the standards of basic services have not.

Higher fees for tourists or residents alike would still be acceptable to cover the needed cost if the services would make everyone’s experience more comfortable.

It is high time to revisit tourism strategies and the current state of affairs. Jordan deserves better. 

Aline Bannayan,

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