Tourism and Development

Jumana Ghunaimat
Jumana Ghunaimat

اضافة اعلان

We become accustomed to ministers complaining about the inadequacy of their employees.

In fact, some of them gave up and surrendered to this particular “reality,” and found in it a scapegoat to justify their failures.

Fewer even were determined to succeed, and they did.

Despite the regional circumstance and its repercussion on the economy, and away from world’s perception of the region, as unstable and insecure, tourism in Jordan is making impressive progress.

A year and a half in, and Minister Lina Annab has done quite a good job with as little resources at hand as there is, leaving a last mark on the sector.

Much of it was due to her positive commitment and hard work.

Annab is the finest example there is of an active and productive technocrat. She did not try to justify doing nothing, as opposed to the many who blamed the general state of things for their laziness.

In figures, income from tourism rose 12.8 per cent in the first 11 months of 2017, January through November, compared to the same period in 2016. The sector made JOD2.988 billion in revenues, compared to JOD2.649 billion.

The Minister is obviously doing something; she has put a lot of effort into developing the sector and its performance indices. All for Jordan to become a regional tourism hub, again, despite the humble resource at her disposal.

Related figures indicate that most of the tourists are not Arab, who otherwise know for a fact that Jordan is distinctly safer than any other country in its surrounding.

This matters; in-house tourism has increased by 10 per cent in 2017, compared to 2016, most from Asia, countries around the Pacific, Europe, Africa as well as the United States.

With these figures at hand, the tourism sector would set an example in terms of achievement.

No former official in the tourism sector has ever attained such progress. Most blamed the regional situation for the regression of the sector.

Last but not least, hopefully, the Ministry and respective tourism bodies signed a new agreement with one of Europe’s most successful budget airlines, Ryanair. The airliner will soon launch 14 low-cost direct routes from various European countries to Jordan and back.

This agreement inaugurates the launch of a new era of development for the sector as an industry. Among other things, this will boost the number of inbound tourists and increase the duration of their stay in Jordan, which can only be good for the sector.

Such an achievement under the circumstance is good.

It could be better, though, because the capacities and potential of this particular sector are almost limitless, which makes it a priority.

Tourism does not only bring in foreign and hard currency, no. It is a solid pillar of economic growth and a catalyst of development.

A positive aspect of tourism is that developing it reflects almost immediately on the economy.

In other sectors, development requires years.

Meanwhile, in our situation, investing in the short-term developmental features of an economic sector like tourism can be quite rewarding, on the long run just as well.

Eventually, with will, dedication and hard work almost anything can be done.

The people’s aspirations can soon be within reach, if more officials commit to their causes, and if Lina herself continues to impress, as she may very well do.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.