The soap opera effect? Turkey most popular vacation destination for Jordanians this Eid
With Eid Al Fitr vacation starting Monday, Jordanians are flocking to seaside destinations, with Turkey topping the list.
Outbound tour operators told The Jordan Times the majority of bookings are for all destinations in Turkey, including Istanbul, Antalya and Marmaris.
“Although the number of vacationers is notably less than in previous years; a good number of Jordanians are travelling abroad this Eid,” Nael Ryal, a tour operator, said on Sunday.
According to Ryal, Turkey is the most popular destination for Jordanians travelling this Eid because of the moderate weather there, its security and the affordable prices for package tours.
Yasser Abdo, another tour operator, agreed, adding that Sharm El Sheikh is the second most popular destination.
Current security concerns in the neighbouring countries have left Jordanians with limited options, Abdo added.
This was also confirmed by Ahmad Hassan, who said he is travelling to Sharm El Sheikh with his family.
Hassan, a physician at a private hospital, said travelling to Sharm El Sheikh for three nights is affordable for him and it is less costly than other destinations.
However, Abdo said the demand on domestic tourism is still encouraging, noting that most of the demand is on one-day trips to different locations across the country.
Meanwhile, Yasar Majali, executive director of the Jordan Hotels Association, said the occupancy rate in most of the Aqaba and Dead Sea hotels is more than 90 per cent.
However, “this is only during the Eid vacation”, and the majority of guests are Jordanians, Majali added.
He expressed his concern about the tourism season in general, noting that there have been cancelled reservations due to the current situation in Gaza and the rest of Palestine.
“Some joint packages for Amman and Jerusalem were cancelled,” Majali noted.
In Petra, a popular tourist destination in the southern region, very few overnight visitors are expected, according to Fawaz Hasanat, a hotel owner in Wadi Musa.
Hasanat said most of the visitors come to the ancient Nabataean city, some 235km south of Amman, during the day and spend the night either in Wadi Rum or in Aqaba.