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The ancient city of Jerash, some 48 kilometres north of Amman, welcomed 122,253 tourists in the first three months of 2023, marking an over 177 per cent increase compared with the same period of 2021, according to Director of the Jerash Tourism Directorate, Firas Khatatbeh.
Khatatbeh told The Jordan Times that the city welcomed 44,060 visitors in the first quarter of 2022 and 98,405 visitors during the first quarter of 2019.
Recognised as one of the largest and best preserved Greco-Roman cities, Jerash contains 35 archaeological sites, according to Khatatbeh.
There are currently 47 local tour guides in Jerash, offering tours in nine different languages, he noted.
Aside from its archaeological sites, Jerash governorate is becoming a major tourist destination due to its natural reserves, diverse topography and rich agricultural landscapes, which feature olive trees that are hundreds of years old, he said.
Dealing with the large influx of visitors required “tremendous efforts” from workers in the directorate, who intensified inspection tours in restaurants and all other tourism facilities in the governorate, Khatatbeh noted.
The tourism police also did an “excellent job” of ensuring the safety and comfort of both tourists and locals, he added.
Khatatbeh also said that a website will be launched soon to introduce people around the world to the history and culture of Jerash governorate.
The website will provide guidance and information on tourism trails, hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions in order to help visitors organise their trip, he added.
Speaking with The Jordan Times, Nancy Tayyan, an expert in destination marketing and tourism, noted that Jerash has a “rich” historical background, which can be utilised in promotional efforts to attract more tourists.
She also pointed out that modern destination marketing tools, such as film making, as well as video games that employ animation reflecting the background of real tourist attractions, can be effective in expanding the demography of potential tourists.
Source: the Jordan Times.