Jordan presented its rich mix of culture and adventure after a successful tourism year at ITB Berlin 2023

Jordan’s newly appointed Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, HE Makram Mustafa Queisi, explained at ITB Berlin 2023 how the country’s new campaign “Kingdom of Time” has successfully repositioned the country as a year-round destination.

How is Jordan’s tourism industry performing in the first quarter of 2023?
January 2023 brought excellent news for our tourism industry, as the country witnessed a significant surge in the number of overnight tourists. There was a remarkable increase of 189.5% in the number of tourists from North America, an 82.2% increase from Germany and a noteworthy 202.5% increase from the whole of Europe, compared to January 2022. These numbers indicate a growing interest in Jordan as a travel destination. With its rich history, culture, and natural beauty, there is no shortage of reasons for tourists to visit, and we anticipate that this positive trend will continue throughout  the year.

What are the results of your campaign ‘Kingdom of Time’?
The launch of the new brand for Jordan happened back at the end of 2021 and since then all our marketing campaigns have been focusing on this new slogan. Our latest European outdoor campaign reached 8 countries across more than 20 different media types, from taxis or buses to billboards and electronic screens. We also promoted “Jordan, Kingdom of Time” during the World Cup in Qatar reaching millions of viewers worldwide. We now prepare more creative campaigns for 2023.

Which segments of Jordan’s tourism industry saw the most growth and why?
Jordan’s tourism industry is centred on its rich history and culture, with tens of thousands of archaeological sites within a small geographic space. Visitors can then explore the many layers of Jordan’s history. Jordan is of course home to Petra, one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, and popular filming location for many Hollywood films. This, along with other cultural gems such as Jerash, Madaba and the UNESCO World Heritage site As-Salt, make Jordan an attractive destination for history and culture lovers.

Adventure tourism has also grown in popularity in recent years, with hiking, climbing, and diving attracting many visitors. Faith tourism is another growing segment with religious pilgrims of different faiths visiting places such as Mount Nebo and the Baptism Site, both believed to be linked to the Bible.

What makes Jordan such an attractive destination for adventure tourists?
There are several reasons. Firstly, visitors have the opportunity to engage with local community-based service providers who ensure a unique experience. Secondly, Jordan’s rich natural and geological diversity on a small territory allows visitors to explore various natural biospheres in a single day. Travellers will see deserts, savannas, rivers, beaches or high mountains. Last, history is always present as thanks to the abundance of sites. While hiking through remote areas such as the Shobak mountains or the north, they discover century-old monasteries or come across archaeological vestiges. They all add value to any adventure in Jordan.

How are you engaging local actors and communities in Jordan’s tourism industry?
Our new brand focuses on local communities and products. We have created more content to promote these communities, especially for adventure tourists along the Jordan Trail. Local experiences can now be booked digitally thanks to JTB’s collaboration with digital search engines such as VIAVII, Expedia and Tripadvisor.

Petra in Jordan replaces horses by e-vehicles
Petra in Jordan | Credit:

What was your key message at ITB Berlin?
By launching the ‘Kingdom of Time’ brand, we focus on positioning Jordan as a year-round destination, rather than just a seasonal one. This has involved targeting low cost carriers from Europe to attract a larger number of tourists, particularly young generations such as Gen Z and Millennials.

In addition, the country has been prioritising local experiences that allow visitors to interact with locals, rather than just focusing on traditional tourist attractions such as Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba. We now highlight the lesser-known attractions in the north, such as Ajloun, Jerash, As-Salt and Madaba, not forgetting Amman where we encourage tourists to stay longer.

How important is a presence at ITB Berlin?
Tourism is all about experiencing something new, and this is exactly what occurred when attending ITB Berlin 2023. We were thrilled to be back and see high demand for Jordan. This exhibition provided us with even more opportunities to network and connect with others in the industry. It was crucial for travel professionals to attend ITB, as a platform to connect, share knowledge and develop partnerships.

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