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Aqaba is expected to receive over 150,000 visitors during Eid Al Fitr, the fast-breaking holiday after Ramadan, according to Deputy Chairman of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Board of Commissioners Hamza Hajj Hassan.
He said that the occupancy rate for all categories of hotels in Aqaba might reach 95 per cent during the eid holiday, Al Mamlaka TV reported on Wednesday.
Fayez Al Badawi, a reservations manager at a hotel in Aqaba, noted that his hotel has an occupancy rate of 100 per cent during the second and third days of eid.
“We’re fully booked. We’re having to turn people away,” he said, noting that Muslim holidays are marked by “really high demand” from Arab nationals.
Badawi also predicts “great” business in May and June, during which the majority of customers are non-Arab foreigners.
Saed Ghazi, a receptionist at another hotel in Aqaba, said that most bookings have been made for April 23, which is the third day of Eid Al Fitr.
“Business is always good during this time of the year,” he told The Jordan Times
The majority of reservations are for Arab nationals from the West Bank and the Arab Gulf states, as well as non-Arab foreigners. Only 10 per cent of rooms are booked by Jordanians, according to Ghazi.
Hatem Al Tousi, who works at a travel agency, said that all trips involving stays at four-star hotels are booked by foreigners, while local tourists reserved around 60 per cent of trips with four-star and three-star hotels.
According to Tousi, 5-star hotel in Aqaba costs no less than JD200 per night, which is a “little short of the cost of a trip to Istanbul”.
“Most Jordanians are choosing to go to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Four days and three nights there, including meals, drinks and transportation costs, is around JD150,” he told The Jordan Times.
Source: the Jordan Times.