Jordan lifts visa restrictions on individual Indian tourists and JTB praises move

Interior Minister Nayef al-Qadi said the decision came as move to promote tourism to Jordan and to support economic growth. He said individual Indian tourists would be given a 2-week entry visa with a “not allowed to work in Jordan” stamp.

The Jordanian government had lifted visa restrictions last February on tourists carrying the Chinese and Romanian nationalities, who no longer need prior approval before traveling to Jordan. It also lifted similar restrictions on Indian tourists traveling to Jordan in groups and through a Jordanian travel agent, as well as Indian businessmen and investors living in non-restricted countries. However, individual visitors were excluded in the decision and had to obtain prior approval from the Ministry of the Interior.

Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) managing director Nayef al-Fayez praised the decision as an important support for tourism from one of the biggest and most important Asian markets, and one of the least affected by the global economic crisis.

Mr. al-Fayez said, “JTB has recently opened a representative office in India to tap into the great potential of this promising market.” He said the move represents a central part of the board’s strategy of exploring new and important markets such as China and South American countries.

The JTB board of directors had decided to move towards promising markets such as China, which accounts for 35 million tourists each year, and India, which accounts for 12 million.

The decision by the Ministry of the Interior is in line with a series of efforts to stimulate and boost the competitiveness of the tourism sector in light of the current global economic crisis. Such efforts include the reduction of the sales tax on hotel rooms and plans to reduce electricity tariffs on hotels.