hospitality industry in Jordan map graphic

Hospitality Industry in Jordan Grows Despite Faltering Neighbors

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While neighboring countries have seen setbacks to tourism due to recent political instability, the hospitality industry in Jordan is growing.

Jordan’s Economy

With a population of 6.5 million, Jordan currently has a GDP of $27.5 billion. In 2013, experts estimate Jordan will see more than a 3 percent economic
growth rate.
aerial view of hospitality industry in Jordan

Current Hospitality Industry in Jordan

As of 2013, the hospitality industry in Jordan accounts for 7.7 percent of the country’s GDP (down from 2010, when hospitality brought in 14 percent). In 2012, the travel industry generated $3.5 billion dollars despite the fact that the actual number of visitors dropped 7.3 percent.

Decreasing Visitors, Increasing Stays

In 2011, Jordan saw 6.8 million visitors. By 2012, that number dropped to 6.3 million. But there’s more to those numbers. Overnight guests were up 5.1 percent in 2012, totaling 4.2 million. And while overall visitors to historical sites were down, Petra saw a 15 percent increase in 2012.

Profits Persist in Hospitality

Revenue from visitors to the Gulf Coast helped raise the nation’s income 15.7 percent. Travelers from other Arab countries led to an income increase of 47.1 percent.

Who’s Traveling to Jordan?

Though visitors from Europe are down, Jordan has seen an increase in guests arriving from the Middle East and Latin America. Altogether, that’s helped tourism receipts rise 15.3 percent from 2012.

The Big Players in Jordan’s Hopsitality Industry

Mövenpick, Four Seasons, Kempinski, and InterContinental all have some impressive luxury properties in Jordan, but they have some competition coming. By 2015, the Fairmont Amman (300 rooms), Aqaba (200 rooms), and W Amman Hotel (280 rooms) should be operational, among others.

The State of Hospitality in Jordan

Currently, Jordan boasts nearly 24,000 rooms. Naturally, new hotels under construction will create a drop in occupancy rates. Not to worry, though. Last year, occupancy was at 70 percent (a 14 percent increase from 2011.)

Jordan’s Hospitality Vocation Training

Expanding Coastlines in Jordan

Projects in the Dead Sea and Aqaba are already underway, with manmade lagoons set to expand Jordan’s coastline by 17 km. Aqaba is getting a new cruise ship terminal (as well as the country’s first theme park).

Investments in Jordanian Infrastructure

The $750 million expansion of the Queen Alia International Airport is only part of the upgrade. Seven high-end jets have been added to the Royal Jordanian Airlines (complete with luxury in-flight dining). New direct flights from Istanbul to Aqaba should bring in business.

This investment will raise the terminal’s capacity to 12 million passengers, a step toward reaching the goal of increased tourism. By 2015, Jordan hopes to up the number of international visitors (currently around 8.2 million) to 9.4 million.

Creating Jobs for Jordan’s Hospitality Industry

Aqaba’s expansion alone is set to create over 7,000 jobs, adding to the 87,000 individuals already employed by the hospitality industry, 5.1 percent of the country’s total workforce.

Rising Food Costs in Jordan

Reports state that 87 percent of the average Jordanian’s caloric intake is from imported goods.
Burger King promotion as part of the hospitality industry in Jordan

Jordanian Government Dedicated to its Hospitality Industry

$30 million has already been spent on boosting tourism (projects like ecotourism and preserving historical landmarks) as well as $20 million on developments in Aqaba, including the Aqaba Special Economic Zone — a development area with low taxes and a duty-free market along the Red Sea.

The Future of Jordan’s Hospitality Industry

By 2016, Jordan hopes to increase tourism receipts to $5.9 billion. With $3.5 billion generated last year alone, they’re well on their way to achieving this goal.

Key Takeaways

  • Jordan has 24,000 hotel rooms with an occupancy rate of 70 percent.
  • Aqaba is getting a cruise ship terminal as well as the nation’s first theme park.
  • $30 million has been invested by the Jordanian government to boost tourism.

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