The announcement comes in the very same week as the Ministry of Tourism released figures showing that, despite the problems experienced in the kingdom just last autumn, the tourism industry is more than holding its own in Jordan right now and, with aggressive marketing campaigns underway, seems set to flourish in the months ahead.
Royal Jordanian’s new-look web site is to be phased in gradually, but passengers will be able to use an e-ticketing service by as early as this July and will be able to access a whole host of new features in English at some point during the summer. The site will then be made accessible in other languages, including Arabic, early next year.
RJ’s President and CEO Samer Majali said that the new web site would allow passengers to book their tickets online and also print out their boarding passes.
He added that the web site upgrade would go hand in hand with the airline’s implementation of two of IATA’s five cornerstone projects in its Simplifying the Business initiative, launched back in 2004. RJ plans to offer a common use self service check-in facility at Queen Alia International Airport, as well as bar coded boarding passes.
Such customer service enhancements by Royal Jordanian are certainly well timed with the Ministry of Tourism revealing a whole host of first quarter preliminary figures that suggest the number of visitors to Jordan is slowly but surely on the increase.
5.2% more visitors came to Jordan in the first three months of 2006 than they did in the same period last year, with the total number estimated at over 600,000. Considering the tragic events in Amman the previous November, which could have affected the tourism industry so badly, these figures are highly encouraging.
Nevertheless, while Jordan enjoyed 17.9% more European visitors in the first three months of the year and an impressive 25% more Americans, it is the Arab market that is the big one for Jordan.
According to the latest statistics, 55% of visitors in Q1 2006 came from other Arab nations and two thirds of Jordan’s tourism revenue in this period came from a combination of Jordanians visiting home and other regional tourists.
For the Jordanian Tourist Board, attracting even more regional visitors would naturally represent good business, and with this in mind, the JTB has launched a high profile campaign entitled Jordan Beautiful Summer.
The campaign has focused on handing out brochures aimed at the Gulf market to travel agents and plans are in place to hand out 500,000 of them at Queen Alia International Airport.
The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Munir Nassar emphasised in the Jordan Times that the first quarter figures showed Jordan’s intensive development of its tourism facilities and its heavy investment in the industry were starting to pay off; alongside the continued aggressive marketing strategies employed by the like of the JTB, Royal Jordanian’s decision to upgrade its web site and online services might well lead to significantly more flight bookings.
Thursday, June 1- 2006 @ 8:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.