Jordan has distanced its tourism sector from the deadly war raging in next-door Israel.
As deadly war and a state of emergency rage in Israel, many airlines have cancelled flights there, and tour operators, tourism sites and parks have shut down. To answer potential visitors’ concerns about coming to the region, the Jordan Tourist Board issued a statement to assure people that Jordan, unlike Israel, remains open for business.
Safe and welcoming
“In light of the recent developments in Gaza, we want to emphasise that Jordan continues to be a safe and welcoming destination for tourists from around the world,” the statement said.
As always, the Jordan Tourism Board is here to assist and support tourists in making the most of their visit.The Jordan Tourism Board
Expressing a belief in the power of tourism to promote peace, the Tourist Board added:
“We want to reassure everyone that Jordan’s borders are open to tourists, and we are eager to share our extraordinary experiences with the world. We understand that tensions around the world can raise concerns, but we believe in the power of travel to foster understanding and build bridges between nations.”
Jordan borders Israel and its capital, Amman, is just 145 km (90 miles) from the border. It boasts five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and innumerable archaeological treasures. In normal times, it expects around 5 million visitors per year, though it was down to 80% of that in 2022 following Covid-19.
Nonetheless, a million people visited world-famous “rose city” Petra and its rock-cut architecture last year and, following an historic agreement to open a Jordan-Israel air corridor in 2021, the country’s tourism industry appeared on track to make a good recovery. War in the region threatens that, prompting the Tourist Board’s statement.
Jordan’s deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Ayman Al-Safadi, has also expressed concerns about the “repercussions on the entire region” of failing to protect civilians. He called for “immediate international action to stop the escalation” and respect and apply “international humanitarian laws.”
Services and flights at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman and King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba are proceeding as normal, at the time of writing.
However, OpsGroup, an expert aviation group, recalls that flight MH17 was downed in a conflict zone and warns “the risk of a passenger aircraft becoming a casualty of this war is high.”
Meanwhile, Jordan’s own Travel Advisory echoes advice from other State Departments around the world in urging caution. Travel to within 3.5km of the Jordan’s border with Syria and east of Ruwayshid town are to be avoided as are:
- designated Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and
- Zarqa, Rusayfah, and the Baqa’a neighbourhood of Ayn Basha due to risks of terrorism and crime
Anyone planning travel to Ma’an City and some areas of Ma’an Governorate should reconsider, it says. Consult Jordan’s Travel Advisory online for more information and guidance.