|Tourism to Jordan's Red Sea resort Aqaba on the rise (Photo/ANSA.IT)|
(ANSA) - Rome, July 29 - Tourism in the burgeoning autonomous economic area know as ASEZA (Aqaba Special Economic Zone) is on the rise as developers continue to invest in infrastructure and entertainment, and visitors discover the endless beauty the area has to offer.
The Red Sea resort had 481,365 visitors in 2012, up from 464,067 in 2011, the city's tourism board said, with most of the tourists who stayed in the dozens of hotels coming from Western and Eastern Europe, Jordan, the Americas and Arab countries.
Jordanian architect, professor and Head Commissioner of ASEZA Kamel Mahadin said that "Aqaba emerges as a unique destination combining attributes of modernism and history and is celebrated as a mixing platform for the different flavors of the region. It stands proudly carrying its history, culture, beauty and heritage as it is surrounded by picturesque mountains and blue sea". ASEZA, a liberalized, low-tax, duty-free area that has its sights on becoming a world-class hub for business and leisure, is easily accessible to the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
"Aqaba's modern infrastructure, easily accessible Airport, luxurious hotels, proximity to the city of Petra and to Wadi Rum, often called the valley of the moon are some of the reasons why Aqaba is strongly presenting itself to the world as a unique tourism destination. Another important reason is the exceptional spirit of hospitality, warmth and generosity its people have," Mahadin said.
Khaled Darwish, one of the owners of Sindbad Group for marine transportation, water sports and yachting in Aqaba, noted that Aqaba is a growing destination for western European tourists especially for diving, water sports and sailing. Tourists landing in Aqaba, regardless of their age, interests or hobbies, have a broad range of activities to chose from, Darwish said.
"Because of its magnificent marine life and unique weather, with north winds and warm waters above 20c most of the year, water lovers find Aqaba is a corner of paradise," says Darwish.