General Travel News

Room for improvement in Petra

July 8 - Despite progress made in Petra in the three years since being named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, tourism officials say there is still work to be done to improve the visitor experience in the ancient Nabataean city.

Visitor flow has risen "tremendously" since Petra was designated as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World on July 7, 2007, according to Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) Chief Commissioner Nasser Shraideh.

Tourists visiting the site jumped from 577,860 in 2007 to 802,866 in 2008, according to PDTRA figures. Although visitor numbers dipped to 728,387 in 2009, this year tourism flow to the World Heritage Site is on pace, with 461,983 tourists visiting the rose-red city through June.

One of the major developments in the last three years, according to Shraideh, was the establishment of the PDTRA in October 2009, which was created to oversee and develop the entire Petra region in order to transform it into a "world-class tourism destination".

Since its establishment, the authority has been working on several projects to improve services and facilities, enhance the visitor experience, as well as protect and conserve the Petra Archaeological Park, Shraideh said.

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