Jordan and Turkey have been discussing further cooperation in the field of tourism, and are expected shortly to unveil new joint tourism packages aimed at long-haul tourists.
Jordan tourist board director General Abdul Razaq Arabiat said Jordan is already receiving visitors from the likes of Brazil, Australia, Japan and Korea, but is very much focussed on increasing their numbers, citing a lack of direct flights as the biggest obstacle to this goal. This is where Turkey comes in.
According to Arabiat visitors from said countries usually prefer to visit more than one country in a region. So, the plan is that Turkey and Jordan offer packages to allow people to visit first Turkey, because it has direct flights to these countries, and then Jordan before returning home.
"In meetings with Turkish Tourism Minister Ertugrul Günay, we discussed the possibility of developing joint packages for potential visitors from these countries to enable them visit both Turkey and Jordan," said Arabiat, adding that Turkish carriers operate direct flights to these countries, which will help give tourists the option of visiting Jordan in the same trip.
Arabiat made his remarks on Monday on the sidelines of the first Turkish-Arab Tourism Forum, organised by the Arab Tourism Organisation (ATO), which began on Sunday in the Turkish city of Bursa.
Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the forum, calling Arab nations Turkey's friends, and said that though Turkey has turned to face the west in recent years, it hasn't and never will turn its back on the east or south. Turkey has witnessed significant growth in the number of Arab tourists in the past few years Erdogan said.