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Liner brings 6,000 tourists from East Asia, India to Aqaba

By Dana Al Emam - May 23,2015 - Last updated at May 23,2015

A photo of an international cruise ship that docked in Aqaba last Thursday with 6,000 passengers provided by a resident of the port city

AMMAN — An international cruise ship that docked in Aqaba last Thursday introduced the “golden triangle of tourism” — Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rum — to a new group of tourists, a commissioner at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) said Saturday.

ASEZA Commissioner for Economic Development and Investment Affairs Sharhabeel Madi said the ship carried some 6,000 passengers from several countries, the majority from East Asia and India.

“This is a new market of tourists, as visitors typically come from Europe and America,” he told The Jordan Times in a phone interview, noting that it was the first time that Jordan has received this number of tourists on a cruise.

Madi highlighted the significance of the visit, which lasted for 48 hours, in attracting more visitors to Jordan and promoting it as a safe country in a region of political turmoil.

He added that the golden triangle visit offered the tourists a chance to enjoy Aqaba’s beaches, Wadi Rum’s desert landscape and Petra’s culture, citing “good” economic activity at the three locations during the visit.

The large number of tourists “remarkably activated” business at tourist sites, restaurants and souvenirs shops, Madi noted, and the cruise passengers were able to interact with the local community.

 

ASEZA is counting on Aqaba’s private sector, including hotels, restaurants and associations, to organise cultural and entertainment activities to increase tourist spending, as the authority is seeking to control its budget this year, according the commissioner.

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