Five-year plan to keep Aqaba on global tourism map

Tourism authorities have prepared a five-year plan for Aqaba to help meet the rising demand for services and enable the port city to better compete in the global travel market, according to the Arab Turkish Travel Gazette. The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), along with the USAID-Jordan Tourism Development Project (JTDP) and the Aqaba Development Corporation, have developed a 2010-2015 tourism marketing strategy for the Red Sea port city, which they say aims to build on recent successes.

Authorities will focus on promoting the three sites, the so-called golden triangle of tourism, to maximize the amount of activities in the area in order to extend visitor stays in Aqaba by 45 percent to two days.

Under the five-year strategy, authorities aim to double the number of port calls; last year 103 cruise ships docked at the port, bringing some 40,000 tourists to Aqaba.

By 2015, the plan aims to double the number of visitors to the Red Sea port city, which amounted to 450,000 in 2008, including194,000 foreigners.

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