Domestic Tourism in Jo..Always a step behind?

Domestic Tourism in Jo..Always a step behind?
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The heated argument on inbound Tourism started between the twitter handle Visit Jordan and I earlier this afternoon, when I read the stream of a friend on twitter communicating with @VisitJordan on how expensive inbound tourism is in Jordan, and this is something ive always thought. Its cheaper to go to Sharm El-Sheikh (by plane and stay at a hotel) than go down to Aqaba and stay for a few days with your family and friends.

When I pointed out that a trip to Sharm El Sheikh at the Moevenpick can be an all-inclusive double room full board for around $90 where as Bed and Breakfast night at the Moevenpick Aqaba can cost up to $130 a night, the reply to my tweet was “You travel because people need to travel, not only because of prices. Travel is a necessity now, not just a luxury.”

I just sat back in my seat astonished, seriously?! I told them their answer was very convenient, and although travel is a necessity, not everyone in Jordan can afford it, and that I think tourism in Jordan will never change. I highlighted another tweet saying “You are promoting #Jo don’t judge peoples choice in travel, and when outbound is cheaper and more fun, price is an imp factor”

Then VisitJordan proceeded to tell me that “We as Jordanians only look for places like Dead Sea & Aqaba as destinations to visit, while we don’t consider places like Jerash..”, I think I had lost half of mind with the stereotype we as Jordanians, what the hell? Where do you gets your statistics?! I’m a Jordanian, I love the DeadSea and Aqaba, Ive camped in Wadi Rum infinite nights, even last week I was in Wadi Al-Mujib. Which I brought up, and of course was dumbfounded with their answer about my trip to Mujib which asked “And how many people were there?”.

Funny, actually it was my group of friends and there was 8 of us, and maybe two other groups who took the full 8 hour Mujib Trip and why?! Lets see we paid 36 Jordanian Dinars a head to go hike in mountains and walk through rocks and jump a waterfall, For the 8 of us that’s 288 JD, a tad bit expensive to pay for a hike that doesn’t offer anything?! No water, no food, no place to shower, NOTHING! They actually wonder where am coming from when I tell them inbound tourism is expensive.

So put judging aside, @VisitJordan tweeted saying that they “don’t have a say in prices. Our part is only promotion. We can’t influence prices.” and the key decision makers when it comes to rates and tourism prices in Jordan are “The private sector – GMs of companies – as well as Site Authorities and MoTA.”

 

So if I were to address the Ministry of Tourism and Antiques (MoTA) who should I meet with, the Minister? I really hope one of their staff members reads this blog and thinks, maybe inbound tourism should be more affordable, Jordan is a BEAUTIFUL country and everyone should explore it all over.

 

Then a good friend of mine @SalwaQatta jumped into the conversation highlighing that “when booking in Dead sea, hotels ask if i have another passport 4 cheaper rates :(” which is kind of true, if you have a foreign passport you usually do end up with a better rate, which I am hoping that Jordan Hotel Association (JHA) (Twitter Handle: @JoHotels) would address soon.

 

Salwa’s tweets seems to have ignited a new conversation regarding tourism in Jordan on twitter. She says “I think the best marketing 4 tourism is a country’s ppl & how much they love touring their county like #Lebanon” which I believe is true, but then again JTB had to comment and say “Lebanon is much smaller and does not require overnight stays, unlike Jordan. People still love touring here.”; I’m sorry a tad bit unprofessional comparing Jordan to another countries tourism? Or judging the sites in another country?! Jordan is beautiful and we have so much to offer, more than any other country in the Middle East in my personal opinion but I don’t represent the JTB when I say it or tweet it out loud.

 

So here I am thinking, and please go ahead and think out loud with me, if there is anything you would want to change, anything you think should change or anything you believe will make inbound tourism better in Jordan and will encourage you to stay in town instead of leave the country on your next vacation, share your thoughts and leave a comment.

Image Courtesy of:  http://www.mydreamtovisitjordan.com/

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Director of Digital Marketing Strategy by Day, Blogger by Night. Mother to my lovely Hana and a food addict.

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Comments

  1. Any discrimination against any nationality is unacceptable, let alone Jordanians in their own country. Certain acts of reservation clerks for personal benefit in agreemnt with some travel agents in Jordan will be followed. We at JHA will action such acts and assure Jordanians that there are special packages in coordiantion with MOTA for Jordanians starting May 2011.

  2. Very interesting :) love it ..

  3. Farah Hamati : May 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

    From experience, I absolutely agree that inbound tourism can be expensive. But the problem is not with the expensive ratings (saraha ofcorse a five star world-known resort be nos dead is going to be expensive because it is somewhat worthet with its offerings and facilities, maybe not the whole 130 dollars per night bas not much off track). Bas the problem marrat we want to go for a day and Why not go to the public beach just like the 100 public beaches we go to when we travel to abroad? sometimes I wonder, when a group of friends and I decide to go to dead sea, the first places in mind are marriot, kempenski, O-beach and etc.
    so I am stuck now. We choose to go to luxurious hotels but at the same time we don’t really have a choice because a public beach would be uncomfortable and unpractical though it might cost as 1/8 of a dead sea trip to marriot?

    At the same time, and that is even more confusing. You don’t want to go to marriot with a very cheap entry with you friends and see wallah a family doing “Hash o nash” on the grass.

    Am I making you think?

  4. I couldn’t agree more with you Lara! I’ve worked in a travel agency and most Jordanians that would come in and ask for the prices, they would never book because it’s too expensive. Don’t forget that the travel agency kaman they have to get their money from somewhere, so they add usually between 10 and 30% on the amount. I agree it should be cheaper for residents to travel in Jordan (I especially didn’t say Jordanians, because I live here, so my pay is not that extravagant that I can pay what a tourist would pay). And it’s not only about us, but with the crisis abroad, more and more people enjoy low budget traveling. I wish there were better transportation options, so that instead of having to rent a car or a car with driver to go mathalan to Dana, we could go by a normal bus.

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