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    13-Nov-2017

Petra witnesses ‘considerable’ rise in tourist numbers

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — The number of tourists who visited Petra in 2017 increased “considerably” compared to the previous year, an official said.
 
Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) President Mohammad Nawafleh said that, since January this year, 521, 000 visitors entered Petra, compared to 461, 000 during all of 2016.
 
PDTRA said they expect the number to reach 650,000 by the end of 2017. 
 
In October, the average number of visitors per day reached 1, 800, Nawafleh said.
 
“The number of tourists visiting the ancient city until November has recorded a promising increase towards the end of the year, considering that November and December are part of the high season during which the rose-red city is supposed to receive more visitors,” Nawafleh told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday.
 
He said that this year’s rise comes after a few years of lower turnout due to the regional turmoil that began in 2011, when the start of the “Arab Spring” made tourists reluctant to visit Jordan. 
 
The official said he expects the high turnout to continue until April 2018.
 
Nawafleh noted that a number of hotels that closed as a result of the low turnout in the past few years will reopen next year. 
 
The number of hotel rooms in Petra stands at 2,300, only 1, 450 of which are available as eight hotels are currently closed, according to PDTRA.
 
However, 226 five-star rooms are scheduled to be available next year after the reopening of two hotels, the authority said.
 
The total number of hotels in Petra stands at 41, according to PDTRA.
 
Petra is the main tourist site in Jordan, one of the new seven world wonders and a UNESCO world heritage site, 235km south of Amman.
 

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