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'Two cruise ships dock in Aqaba with nearly 2,500 tourists'

By Baha Abu Hasnah - Mar 22,2016 - Last updated at Mar 22,2016

European tourists are seen buying tickets for an Aqaba Sightseeing Bus Tour, on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Khalil M. Farrayeh)

AMMAN — Almost 2,500 people of various nationalities arrived via two cruise ships in Aqaba on Tuesday as part of several cruisers expected to arrive soon, an official at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) said.

ASEZA Commissioner for Economic Development and Investment Affairs Sharhabeel Madi said Aqaba, some 330km south of Amman, is expected to receive more than 30,000 visitors through 20 cruise ships within a month.

Madi told The Jordan Times over the phone that another batch of tourists is also set to arrive in Aqaba on Wednesday.

Most of the tourists who arrived Tuesday are of European nationalities, and will be staying in the Kingdom between 24 and 48 hours, the official said, noting that the authorities have arranged transportation for the tourists to visit Wadi Rum, Petra and the Dead Sea. 

These visitors will revive the tourist season in the Kingdom, Madi said, and they will also have a positive impact on other sectors such as restaurants, taxis and shops.

"Cruise ship operators have great confidence in the Kingdom due to its stability and security," he added. 

In February, ASEZA launched a month-long promotional campaign called the Aqaba Carnival with discount offers on hotels and transportation to attract local holidaymakers to enjoy the warm weather.


Madi told The Jordan Times previously that between 60,000 and 70,000 tourists visited Aqaba in February, which is considered a low season. 

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