Petra: Flagging fortunes revived

Published February 2nd, 2023 - 11:32 GMT
Tourists in a group pose for a photo before the site of the Treasury at the ruins of the ancient Nabatean city of Petra in southern Jordan on December 12, 2022. After years in which the Covid pandemic turned the storied "Rose City" into a ghost town, Jordan tourism authorities confirm that Petra, famous for its stunning temples hewn out of the rose-pink cliff faces, is back in business and drew 900,000 visitors last year, close to the previous record of one million set in 2019. (Photo by Khalil MAZRAAWI / AFP)

ALBAWABA - Petra, the Rose Red city in the southern part of Jordan is back in action buzzing with tourists. The number of visitors is recording sky high figures at 147% just for January. 

The Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) announced on Wednesday this has been the highest number since 2019.

PDTRA stated in January Petra welcomed 82,937 tourists comprising 72,294 foreigners, 2,684 non-Jordanian Arabs and 7,112 Jordanians with Urdun Jannah boosting its domestic tourism programme, according to the Jordan Times. 

Jordan's sector is a major boost to the Kingdom's economy contributing 11 percent to the Kingdom GDP in the years before 2019. Last year it has increase by 2.7 percent according to World Bank figures. 

In the post-Covid-19 pandemic that caused tourism 'ghost towns' for tourists, visits to places such as Petra is booming again. 

A recent AFP reports suggests things are turning around.  "Tourism has returned and the numbers are even greater," said Bdoul, 35, wearing Bedouin garb with a red keffiyeh scarf over his long black hair, reflecting on a resurgence last year.

"At the time of the coronavirus pandemic, we did not see anyone in Petra," said Bdoul - a disaster for the town where, he said, "90 percent of people work in tourism"

But this is no more. 

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