Market Update: Jordan

Market Update: Jordan

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Three GMs share their views on Jordan’s hospitality sector and the effects that Covid-19 has had on both the local and broader tourism industry .

Haitham Zaid Goussous
GM/Partner, Romero Group
romerogroup.jo

How would you describe the hospitality sector in Jordan?
It has been growing over the past few years. We have a number of new and exciting projects, and our industry has been improving greatly in terms of quality of service and overall product/experience. I think we have a bright future ahead of us; of course it all depends on the stability of the region.

What challenges are you facing?
Well, besides the pandemic and its impact on tourism and the economy, our general cost of operating is quite high compared to neighboring countries. This makes it very difficult to be profitable. We also lack experienced human resources; it has always been hard to find quality manpower, but it is getting better with time.

When do you anticipate things returning to normal in Jordan?
I think the new normal has already begun. However, I imagine things will really settle down sometime in May or June of 2021, at least domestically. As for inbound tourism,
I think it will take some time to recover and for people to feel comfortable traveling again.

Do you have any new projects planned in Jordan?
We have a few ideas in mind, but I don’t think we will be doing anything significant for the coming two years.

Carlos Malliaroudakis
GM, InterContinental Jordan
Ihg.com

How you would describe the hospitality sector in Jordan?
Like everywhere else in the world, the hospitality industry in Jordan was
negatively affected by Covid-19. The airport was closed from March 2020 until the beginning of September. There are now a limited number of flights, so we hope that this will at least bring some travelers to the country.

What challenges are you facing?
The challenges are related to flight restrictions across the globe due to
coronavirus, which are limiting the flow of passengers. So while we expect things to be challenging for several months to come, we need to work with the resources we have available to ensure sustainability. We are optimistic, though.

When do you anticipate things returning to normal in Jordan?
It will take time for international travelers to resume their usual behavior. Jordan is focusing on operating the airport efficiently and implementing safety protocols. At InterContinental Jordan, we are prioritizing our clean promise to guests staying or dining with us.

Do you have any new projects planned in Jordan?
Jordan is working on its infrastructure: the new airport, improved highways and the great Ayla project, positioning the city of Aqaba as a main touristic destination in the area. At InterContinental Jordan in Amman, we have started a renovation program, and we are determined to complete it despite the recent challenges.

Georges Ojeil
Area GM, Le Gray Beirut and Campbell Gray Hotels and Living
campbellgrayhotels.com

How would you describe the hospitality sector in Jordan?
Despite the great potential that the hospitality sector in Jordan has as a major, well-branded tourism destination, it is now impacted by Covid-19, just like everywhere else in the world. I must say that Jordan was among a handful of countries that contained the spread of the virus.

What challenges are you facing?
The slow adaptation to the new normal, the post Covid-19 measures — mainly the social distancing — and the limited flow of tourists are major challenges. Although we are hopeful now that the international flights have resumed, we are still wary given the tight travel restrictions that have been enforced.

When do you anticipate things returning to normal in Jordan?
Things are getting back to normal, as the saying goes, “slowly but surely”. And this is how we want it to be. We are ready for what’s coming and have applied the highest standards of safety and hygiene.

Do you have any new projects planned in Jordan?
We are working quietly for now and hope to be able to make an announcement soon.

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