(MENAFN- Jordan Times)
AMMAN – The general situation of the Kingdom’s tourism sector has “deteriorated considerably” since November with the emergence of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, according to a representative of the sector.
“The Omicron variant has shaken the tourism industry in Jordan. It is an almost collapsed sector, ”Jordanian Society of Tourism and Travel Agents (JSTA) deputy director Fadi Abu Arish told the Jordan Times on Thursday.
Arish noted that a “huge” number of reservations have been canceled as many European countries have closed their borders to curb the spread of Omicron.
He also pointed out that government travel policies and regulations, such as performing PCR tests for air travelers upon arrival, have had a negative impact on tourism activity in Jordan.
Arrivals to Jordan must present a negative COVID-19 PCR result taken within 72 hours of arrival in the Kingdom. Then, a second PCR test is required from air travelers upon arrival.
“Requiring another PCR from air travelers upon arrival is a major challenge for us,” he said.
“A week ago, we met the Minister of Tourism and other concerned actors, to demand exemptions for our sector,” he noted.
Throughout September and October, things started to improve, but then the situation has deteriorated since early November.
“The sector needs real government support,” he added.
Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association (JITOA) deputy director Awni Kawar told the Jordan Times on Sunday that Jordan’s first tourist season begins in March and continues through May.
“If the epidemiological situation remains the same and the Kingdom remains a red zone for many countries from which most of the potential tourists come, the season would be destroyed,” he added.
“We all hope things get better,” he said.
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