THE abolition of Jordan’s 40 dinar (£37) visa fee is one of a number of changes to be introduced over the next few months as part of the government's aim to make travelling to Jordan ‘more convenient and affordable for people of all nationalities’.
Tourists who use a tour operator to arrange their travel to the kingdom will be exempt from the visa fee, provided they spend a minimum of two consecutive nights in the country. They will still have to obtain a visa on arrival at the airport, but there will be no fee.
The situation is slightly more complicated for independent travellers. To avoid the visa fee, those making their own arrangements will be required to stay for three consecutive nights and purchase a “unified tourist site ticket”, the details of which are yet to be finalized.
Jordan’s tourism industry has suffered as a result of conflict in neighbouring Iraq and Syria, although the British Foreign Office deems the vast majority of the country suitable for travellers, advising only against visiting areas close to the Syrian border.
Amidst the tangle of conflict elsewhere in the region, foreigners have shunned Jordan’s holy sites and nature reserves, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site at Petra, where visitor numbers have halved since 2010.
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Picture Credit: Petra Treasury by David Bjorgen - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons