US attacks strike Jordan campaign
Jordan was in the process of launching a major campaign in the West when terrorists struck the World Trade Centre and Pentagon in the US, Mazen Talhouni, Arab markets area manager of the Jordan Tourism Board, said at the MTF.In 2000, Jordan received 326,500 visitors from Europe and 126,400 from the US and Canada, the two segments showing 11 per cent and two per cent rise respectively. The figures would have been higher if not for the Palestinian "Intifada" that broke out in September of 2000. The year also coincided with a surge in Saudi domestic tourism, as a result of which fewer Saudi travellers went to Jordan. The Jordanian exchequer took in $800 million in 2000, down from $820 million in the previous year. Tourism accounts for 12 per cent of the national GDP. With the start of the "Intifada", the Jordanian government has concentrated more on the Gulf sector through media campaigns, fam tours and road shows. Consequently, tourist arrivals from the Gulf states climbed, Bahrain accounting for the highest growth, 52 per cent with 41,000 arrivals between January and August of this year compared with 27,000 in the corresponding period of 2000. Saudi Arabia sent 451,000 visitors, up 30 per cent. Increases in other states were Kuwait 40 per cent, Oman 45 per cent, Qatar 25 per cent and the UAE nine per cent. Attracting Gulf tourists were the religious shrines, medicinal properties of the Dead Sea water and sand and historical sites.