CHIEF COMMISSIONER OF PETRA DEVELOPMENT TOURISM REGION AUTHORITY
Jordan 2016 I Tourism I Interview
BIOGRAPHY Born in Petra city in 1965, he has a PhD on Mechanical Engineering from Saint-Peterburg State University of Technology and Design and has worked at Al-Balqa Applied University and King Hussein Bin Talal University before joining PDTRA.
WITH OVER $50 MILLION WORTH OF PROJECTS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, PDTRA HAS SUCCESSFULLY ATTRACTED INVESTMENTS TO MANY IMPORTANT PROJECTS IN THE REGION.
CAN YOU GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF THE PETRA DEVELOPMENT TOURISM REGION AUTHORITY (PDTRA) AND ITS MAIN OBJECTIVES?
PDTRA is a legal, financial and administrative independent authority, founded in 2009. PDTRA is managed by a board of commissioners that consists of five members including the president and vice president with a member who is authorized to manage the Petra Reserve. The members are appointed by the Prime Ministry and approved by His Majesty King Abdullah.
PDTRA main objectives are to administrate and supervise the Petra Region; manage and develop the tourism industry in Petra and coordinate with national and international entities related to the economic sector; provide a desirable investment environment to engage in various economic activities; contribute to the development of comprehensive strategies for the protection, maintenance and restoration of archaeological sites, in coordination with the Department of Antiquities.
We will also identify the areas and sites of heritage value in the region, which can be used for tourism purposes; enhance the social status for the local committee and private institutions, and provide support to the traditional crafts projects and the tourism industry; protect the environment in the region, including water resources, natural resources and biodiversity, by setting the standards, rules and regulations; and develop plans for human resource development.
WHAT WILL CHANGE WITH THE RECENTLY APPROVED AMENDMENTS TO THE PDTRA LAW?
We expect these amendments to attract investors through giving them many incentives and exemption and we have no doubt that decision to make investment in Petra will be feasible and easier because of these recent approved amendments of the Law of Petra Region.
Under the draft legislation, the PDTRA performs its task of attracting investments, applying the regulations on privileges and incentives offered by developmental zones, while half of the revenues, or 50% of the fees of entry to the tourist attraction of Petra, will be apportioned to the authority itself.
PETRA IS JORDAN’S MOST POPULAR TOURISM DESTINATION. HOW CAN THE REGION DEVELOP ITS FULL INVESTMENT POTENTIAL?
Our vision is based on encouraging both national and foreign direct investors through promoting the investment projects mentioned in the investment map and the master plan of Petra region and give the investors the details on the suggested projects and the investment incentives.
We are also establishing the branding for the investment in the region and working with our partner to promote Petra as one of the most attractive investment destinations as well as setting up and developing Petra region infrastructure in the coming two years which will facilitate the establishment of new projects and attracting investors to Petra.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS OF PDTRA?
With over $50 million worth of projects under construction, PDTRA has successfully attracted investments to many important projects in the region, for example: the Petra museum is located near the visitor center and was funded by JICA, this project will extend length of stay for Petra visitors; the downtown project aims to avoid traffic jam, and rehabilitate one of the region’s heritage villages.
Other important projects are the Wadi Mousa entrance project, which is located at the entrance of Wadi Mousa city, the goal of this project is to facilitate and manage traffic movement; the Heritage village project located in little Petra, to make visitors stay longer and enjoy the experience in the Archeological site; the back exit project making the visits to Petra much easier by using a modern shuttle system at the end of the tour, the site capacity will be increased and the project will be very helpful to reduce the tourist movement on the main trail, therefore helping sustainable tourism and protecting Petra for the coming generation.
Finally there is the Ecolodge hotel which is an environmentally friendly project, next to the heritage village and it will be an added value to the tourist product; and the Wadi Musa Tourist Zone with an urban design and landscaping that will develop and rehabilitate the tourist zone with alternative road to serve tourist transportation from and to Petra.