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‘Around 4.2 million tourists spent JD3 billion in Jordan in 2012’

By Khetam Malkawi - Feb 12,2014 - Last updated at Feb 12,2014

AMMAN — The tourism sector contributed JD1.222 billion to the Kingdom’s economy in 2012, an increase from JD1.138 billion in 2010 representing 6.5 per cent in direct contribution to the gross domestic product, according to an official report released Wednesday.

The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) for Jordan showed that there were almost 4.2 million inbound tourists (overnight visitors) travelling to Jordan in 2012, spending nearly JD3 billion.

“The average spend per inbound tourist per day was estimated at JD67,” said the report, launched by the Tourism Ministry and developed in partnership with the Department of Statistics and support from the USAID Economic Growth Through Sustainable Tourism Project.

The TSA is the framework recommended by the UN World Tourism Organisation for organising tourism statistics and measuring the sector’s contribution to the economy.

It is a “satellite” to the national income accounts, the data systems that all countries use to track the activity of their economies and calculate indicators such as gross domestic product and growth rates.

The report showed that Saudi Arabia is the largest individual generating market for inbound tourism to Jordan, accounting for over 582,000 tourists — 14 per cent of all arrivals — in 2012.

An additional 2.2 million inbound day visitors travelled to Jordan in 2012, spending almost JD152 million, or around JD71 per day trip, according to the report, a copy of which was sent to The Jordan Times.

The report said domestic tourists (overnight visitors) took 1.1 million trips in 2012, spending JD245 million — which includes expenditures in Jordan by outbound tourists who are residents travelling within the country en route to another destination.

An additional 2.9 million domestic tourists (day visitors) travelled in Jordan in 2012, spending over JD34 million, or around JD12 per day, according to the report.

According to the TSA, 4.2 million tourists visited Jordan in 2012, representing a 6 per cent growth in arrivals compared to 2011.

“The information produced by the TSA enables the government to plan more effectively and draw up more efficient policies with regards to the tourism sector in the future,” said Issa Gammoh, secretary general of the Tourism Ministry.

“The data also illustrates the significance of tourism and the positive impact it has on other sectors in Jordan, such as transport and industry,” Gammoh added in a statement sent to The Jordan Times.

Ibrahim Osta, chief of party of the USAID Economic Growth Through Sustainable Tourism Project, said USAID will continue supporting the publication of the TSA for Jordan.

He added that initially, producing the first TSA report in 2008 was a challenging experience for all concerned, but having now completed this third report, “an active and effective collaboration has been established between all partners and we are seeing dynamic and cooperative efforts to continually refine the process from start to finish.”

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