Despite the overall drop in the number of tourists who visited the Kingdom in the first quarter of the year, the number of Arab visitors increased during that period, Tourism Minister Ibrahim Saif said on Saturday.

Saif noted that the January-March period witnessed a 10 per cent drop in the total number of visitors who came to Jordan, while the number of Arab tourists increased by 3 per cent.

But the minister did not elaborate on the exact number of tourists who came to the country in the period in question.

At a meeting with local and Saudi reporters, he said regional turmoil had affected the influx of tourists to Jordan, as well as other neighbouring countries.

But according to Central Bank of Jordan figures, the drop in tourist numbers did not affect the sector’s revenues, which went up by 1.7 per cent during the first quarter of 2013, compared to last year, standing at around $777 million (around JD550 million).

In an attempt to alleviate the impact of the current crisis in the region on the country’s tourism sector, the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) is intensifying its promotion campaigns around world.

Part of the campaign, according to JTB Director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, is inviting journalists from different countries to experience the Kingdom’s tourism products.

In remarks to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, after the meeting, Arabiyat said the number of Saudi tourists in the first four months of 2013 exceeded 189,000 visitors, a 3.1 per cent increase compared with the same period in 2012.