To make it better
We are all excited about Petra being included in the New Seven Wonders, which will result in a huge increase in tourism in Jordan. But are we ready for it?
Not yet. We need to bring the site to world standards in terms of services and offerings to the visitors. We need to organise something better than the self-initiated tents we have out there.
Let me propose a few things. To start with, we should have decent hygiene facilities run properly and efficiently. A cluster of very clean toilets at the beginning, near the Treasury and at the further end are a must.
Proper souvenir shops with good quality items like T-shirts, sweat shirts, caps, umbrellas, mugs, key chains with the name Petra should be available. If the quality is better than what is now available in tents, these will sell.
Proper and clean coffee shops and restaurants should also be made available. On a summer afternoon, tourists would like to rest and sip a drink in one of these restaurants. They can even offer a buffet lunch at reasonable prices (without sales tax), which would be appreciated by tourists who go down in the mornings and stay there till late afternoons. This can be done by building a small complex with a restaurant, souvenir shops and toilets, and should be contracted out to one single party willing to manage all together.
The existing sight and sound night programmes should be replaced by something of much better quality.
We need to invest if we wish to satisfy tourists. Tourists visiting Petra from different corners of the world spend lots of money on travelling and hotels; spending a few extra bucks while they are at one of the seven wonders will not hurt them.
We should also consider offering something special to the tourists at night, once they come out of the site and head back to their hotels. Presently we have absolutely no nightlife, which leaves them bored and uninterested in spending an extra day in Petra.
Jordan has worked very hard to see Petra winning. Now let’s take advantage of it.