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JITOA elects new board

April 5, 2008 11:00 am

The JITOA’s new Executive Director, Nizar Adarbeh, says: “This is a new era for JITOA with new faces and experienced veterans in the inbound tourism industry who all want to work to upgrade the status of the Association for the benefit of greater tourism to Jordan.” 

Members of the new board are Mohammad Samih (Chairman), Ghada Najjar (Vice-Chairman), Seif Saudi (Secretary General), and Ayham Fakher Eldin (Treasurer) as well as three board members, Wendy Botham, Munir Nassar and Fadi Sayes.

The new board and president is expected to build on the work of the former board led by its previous chairman Awni Kawar and former executive director Ahmad Al Bashiti, whose successes included the removal of the Sales Tax on inbound tour operators.

“We have lots of issues we want to tackle and deal with,” says Adarbeh, who was responsible for increasing the membership of JITOA to around 70 core tour operators, hoteliers as well as academics and individuals, specialists in the tourism sector.

Professionalism, the establishment of a code of ethics in the tourism industry, training, education and building a structure of communication and research development are all priorities for the new JITOA board that will be dealt with vigorously says Adarbeh

It is frequently stressed 80 percent of the inbound traffic is through tour operators who are JITOA members. “It is because of this our members-and something shown in the assembly-want to continue to work on a higher scale to improve the level of professionalism in our industry,” adds Addarbeh whose association was set up in 2003 to represent tour operators in the inbound industry.

Many are now calling for the activation of a number of specialized committees to benchmark local tourism, including a training committee, an ethics committee and a scientific committee to ensure all channels for improvement is maintained.

“This is particularly important as tourism is particularly significant in the national economy of Jordan and the fact more and more international tourists are coming to Jordan who constantly require improvements of services,” concludes the executive director.