SUDIPTA DEV – Mumbai
Jordan has witnessed a steady growth in numbers from the Indian market in the past few years. According to Ashit Taneja, country head, Jordan Tourism Board, India Office all sectors have been equally active and Indians are increasingly looking at Jordan as a premium destination for MICE, leisure, religious travel, honeymoon travel and family holidays. “The key destinations in Jordan that will interest high-end travellers are Amman, Aqba, Petra, Dead Sea and Wadi Rum,” said Taneja.
“The relationship between India and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan goes back a long way and both the countries share extremely friendly relations which reflects in every aspect such as politics, economy and culture. The Jordanian government, thus, in a move to encourage tourism offers visa on arrival (VOA) to Jordan for Indian tourists,” mentioned Taneja. He pointed out that Jordan Tourism Board is promoting the MICE segment by offering VOA. It is only valid for a group of five people or more with confirmed return flights, confirmed hotel bookings and available cash of US$ 1000. “We also offer uniform visa fees for all nationalities. We offer group visas that are available free of charge when arranged through DMC’s or tour operators. MICE groups and FIT groups from India do not need to fill out any visa paperwork as they can avail of VOA when they land in Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport,” said Taneja. With the new terminal opening in Jordan’s International Airport, more airlines will be flying into the country. Taneja believes that opening of the new terminal will encourage outbound travel from India to Jordan right in time for the holiday season. The new 103,000-square-metre terminal can handle 12 million passengers annually, compared with the old terminal’s 3.5 million-passenger capacity.
Jordan offers modern infrastructure, resorts, convention centers, four and five-star hotels in all its important landmarks and cities to encourage the meetings and incentives sector. “It is also a very family-friendly destination for a holiday and is also rated as one of the top romantic countries which makes it an exotic honeymoon destination,” added Taneja. A culturally rich land, Jordan is famous for its vivid landscapes. The essential destinations include the Petra, recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage site, to the Dead Sea, flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west.
“We are expecting spectacular growth from the India market in the coming years. We would also like to announce that American Express Middle East has made Jordan a must-visit tourist destination this year. The one of a kind ‘Experience Jordan’ destination campaign, offers travellers the opportunity to access a wide range of airline, car rental, designer shopping, dining, leisure and well-being special offers, simply by using their American Express Cards,” said Taneja. Organised in association with the Jordan Tourism Board, ‘Experience Jordan’ enables travellers to take advantage of exclusive offers and benefits which have been specially selected and developed by American Express Middle East.