Jordan’s Tourism Income Up 14.5% in Six Months

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The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) said on Sunday that the kingdom saw a rise in tourism revenues by 14.5% during the first half of the year to a total of $2.1 billion.

In a press release, the CBJ attributed the rise in the sector’s income to the growth in the number of tourists by 9.9% year-on-year.

The Royal Jordanian Airlines lately said that the US National Security Agency (NSA) allowed Jordanian passengers heading to the United States to carry their electronic devices during all flights leaving Amman to New York, Chicago, and Detroit starting 9/July/2017.

The company said in a statement that in light of the NSA decision, which will rapidly enter into force, all Jordanians traveling from Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, to the United States will be able to take their laptops, tablets, cameras and other devices on board.

These devices will undergo accurate examination and inspection procedures that respond to the US security standards applied on all the airline flights from all across the world.

In March, the US authorities have issued a decision to ban travelers coming to the US territories from ten airports in eight countries of the MENA and Gulf regions from carrying electronic devices on board. Those countries are Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkey.

In the same context, Stefan Pichler, president and CEO of the Royal Jordanian Airlines stressed on the company’s keenness to provide the best land and air services for its travelers, saying that the food served on the company’s flights is considered among the airline’s top quality since its establishment.

This is expected to raise Jordan’s tourism rates, along with its foreign reserve, which declined 10.7% in the end of May compared to the same period in 2016.

Jordan’s foreign reserve dropped to $11.5 billion by the end of May, compared to $12.88 billion by the end of 2016.

The foreign reserve in Jordan started its drop since the beginning of 2016 driven by the decline of foreign investments, migrants’ transfers, and tourism revenue considered an important resource in enhancing the Kingdom’s reserve.

On June 1, the unemployment rate raised to 18.2% Q1 2017, compared to 15.8% in Q4 2016.

According to the official figures released by the Jordanian statistics department, unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2016 was 14.6%.

Economists doubt these official figures and suggest that the effective unemployment levels are higher. Providing employment opportunities for youths is among the Jordanian government’s priorities aiming to enhance growth.