|Petra in Jordan // (c) Deanna Ting|
A group of U.S. travel leaders and members from the NTA (formerly known as the National Tour Association), U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and other leading travel associations is embarking on a six-day visit to Egypt and Jordan on Friday, April 22. The purpose of their visit will be to restore confidence in travel to those destinations, both of which recently endured political unrest and protests earlier this year and have since seen their tourism numbers drop dramatically.
“Together with our partners, the Egyptian Tourist Authority, Jordan Tourism Board and USTOA, we determined the best way to show that the tourism industry cares is to go there,” said Lisa Simon, president of NTA. “We want to see the destinations for ourselves, meet with Egyptian and Jordanian tourism officials, and then share our story when we return.”
The trip, referred to as “Restoring the Journey,” will be conducted in partnership with the tourism ministries of Egypt and Jordan. It will include visits to popular sites such as the Pyramids at Giza, the Egyptian Museum and Tahrir Square in Egypt, and the Citadel, the Archaeology Museum and the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.
Although curfews in Egypt have been lifted and travel restrictions have been eased, tourism to Egypt has not recovered since the political unrest that took place earlier this year and, as a result, Jordan and other nearby countries in the Middle East have also seen dramatic drops in tourism numbers.
“We want to assist the 2 million Egyptians who work in tourism-related jobs, and we seek to minimize the impact of recent events on travel to neighboring Jordan,” Terry Dale, USTOA president said. “In doing so, we hope also to restore business for U.S. tour operators and travel agents.”