Jordan's tourism revenues rose by 19.2 per cent in the first eight months of this year compared with the previous year, official data revealed. According to Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ ) figures, revenues climbed to JD1.7 billion from JD1.4 billion in the same period last year, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. In a statement, the CBJ said that tourism revenues rose by 38.5 per cent in August 2012 compared with the same month in 2011. The report attributed the rise in revenues to the increase in the number of non-resident tourists visiting the Kingdom from Arab countries such as Iraqis, Libyans as well as non-Arab foreigners like Americans.
The CBJ added that these developments point to the recovery in the tourism sector, which is one of the main sources of foreign currency income for the Kingdom.
In a meeting at the Economic and Social Council, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Nayef Fayez said the number of overnight visitors had also increased by 7.4 per cent in the first eight months to reach 2.9 million.
Fayez noted that compared to neighboring countries, tour packages in Jordan are among the most expensive, which affects the competitiveness of the sector.
Figures he presented during the meeting, showed that Jordan's 16 per cent sales tax, is the highest in the region, compared to 10 per cent in Lebanon and Egypt, 8 per cent in Turkey and 0 per cent in Israel.
He also noted that Egypt is currently considering lowering its sales tax to 5 per cent.