Jordanian tourism not affected by anti-normalization, says Minister of Tourism
In a recent interview for the local Al-Dustur daily, the Jordanian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Aql Baltaji, said that he believes that anti-normalization has not affected the flow of tourists to the kingdom. Moreover, he claimed that even though Israeli tourists cross the border for one-night trips, visitors from Europe, Japan and the United States enter Jordan via the bridges and stay for three days at a time.
According to the minister, tourist arrivals to Jordan increased by 22 percent in the first seven months of 2000 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, with 90 percent of them 1948 Israeli Arabs. Visiting Jordan, he claimed, gives them an opportunity to be in an Arab-oriented environment among their fellow kin. Regarding non-Arab Israelis, the minister stated that the two countries are at peace, however, Jordanians are at liberty to choose whether to accept them or not.
Statistics have revealed that in 1999, 4,766,300 tourists arrived in Jordan, up from 4,586,000 during the previous year. –(Albawaba-MEBG)