WARSAW – Poland seeks to strengthen ties with Jordan in the tourism sector and promote tourist destinations in both countries, according to a Polish official.
Katarzyna Sobierajska, undersecretary of state in Poland’s ministry of sport and tourism, said the Kingdom has been promoted in her country as part of joint travel packages to Egypt, but many Poles are not aware of these offers.
At a meeting with a Jordanian delegation late last week, Sobierajska noted that although “a good number” of Poles travel to Jordan as part of joint packages with other countries in the region, the number of Jordanians visiting Poland is still “modest”.
“We are also looking to launch promotion campaigns to market Poland as a tourism destination for Jordanians,” she said.
According to Jordan Tourism Board figures, 24,253 Poles visited Jordan in 2010 with the majority spending only one day in the country, mainly in Petra
Meanwhile, figures from the embassy of Poland in Jordan showed that around 500 Jordanians were granted visas to visit the east European country last year.
Sobierajska expressed hope that the International Travel Show TT Warsaw, scheduled to take place in September, can help boost tourism cooperation between Amman and Warsaw.
Indicating that the Jordanian tourism minister, accompanied by tour operators and investors, will attend the show, the Polish official noted that several meetings are scheduled with the Jordanian delegation to look into ways to enhance cooperation.
“We see Jordan as an attractive and safe tourist destination,” she stressed, noting that direct flights between the two countries can help raise the number of visitors.
She explained that Egypt is the first travel destination for Poles in the Middle East, followed by Tunisia, attributing it to cooperation between investors in the tourism industry.
“For example, Tunisian travel agents invited Polish operators to explore the country’s attractions, a step which promoted the North African country here,” she noted.
According to Sobierajska a large number of Polish tourists cancelled their trips to the Middle East over the past two months due to regional unrest, but she noted that the situation is currently witnessing a reverse trend.
Sobierajska said the tourism sector in Poland was hit by the global economic crisis, noting that the average number of tourists dropped from 15 million annually before the global downturn to 12 million visitors after the crisis.
However, she is optimistic that the number of tourists will see a boost in 2012 as Poland is jointly hosting the European Football Cup with Ukraine.