BY A CORRESPONDENT
February 27, 2007
Enthused by the kingdom’s ability to attract a large
number of Japanese tourists to the country without prior
marketing efforts, Jordan is exploring the possibilities
of investing in the tourism business.
According to official figures, the number of Japanese
tourists to Jordan more than doubled since 2003.
In all, 4,419 Japanese tourists visited Jordan in 2003,
the number rising to 5,287 in 2004, 6,667 in 2005, and
10,225 in 2006.
“The fact that Jordan attracts thousands of Japanese
tourists in the country each year without prior
marketing in place is, in itself, a positive indicator
on the potential of investing in that market,” Jordan’s
Tourism Board (JTB) managing director Mazen Homoud said.
“These figures, which we consider adequate, coupled with
the findings of our recent market research in Japan has
encouraged us further to move in that direction,” he
The JTB is also was considering establishing a branch
office in Japan in the near future.
Japanese tourists, who constitute overnight visitors,
toured main sites around Jordan, such as Petra, Wadi
Rum, Jerash, Um Qais, Karak, Ajloun, and the Baptism
Available figures show that nearly 2,000 Japanese
tourists visited Wadi Rum during the first 10 months of
2006, an increase of about 3% over the same period in
Jerash attracted around 3,000 Japanese visitors in the
same period, though it was an 11% drop compared to the
first 10 months of 2005.
In 2006, 4,626 Japanese tourists visited Petra, a drop
of 25% from the previous year, while Madaba attracted
2,516 – compared to 3,213 the previous year.
The drop in arrivals was part of an overall decrease in
arrivals in 21006 as a result of the ongoing instability
in the region.
According to the JTB’s recent market research, a
majority of Japan’s population of 127 million is
inclined towards travel.
Statistics showed that over 17 million Japanese people
went abroad in 2005 – 64% of them for tourism purposes.
Though a majority of outbound tourism from Japan visited
destinations in East Asia and North America, studies
showed a positive flow of travellers to Europe and the
Middle East, especially Egypt.
This segment was most interested in destinations with
natural and scenic attractions, as well as historical
and cultural sites. They also tended to spend at least
five days in their choice of location.
Figures for 2004 showed that a majority, or 37.3% of
Japanese tourists, spent up to nearly a week in their
There are currently no direct flights between Jordan and
Japan. Instead, Japanese tourists travelling to Jordan
fly on the airliner Emirates (which operates 14 flights
a week from Osaka and Nagoya to Dubai), Qatar Airways
(four weekly flights between Osaka and Doha), and Egypt
Airways (three weekly flights between Tokyo and Cairo).
According to global studies, Japanese tourists are
currently the third highest spenders among global
tourists, with an average expenditure of $2,158 a
traveller. International tourism expenditure from
Japanese tourists reached around $37.6 billion in 2005.