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By Rana Husseini
AMMAN ? The government is in the process of improving services provided at the Kingdom's airports and border crossings to meet the expected increase in numbers of visitors, Minister of Interior Awni Yarvas said on Saturday.

?We expect an increase in the number of visitors, investors, tourists and people wishing to settle in the Kingdom and we need to facilitate procedures for these travellers,??? Yarvas told The Jordan Times.

Around 2,200,000 travellers use the Jordanian-Syrian borders, while hundreds of thousands pass through the Kingdom's main airports, according to Yarvas.

The improvements will focus on training employees working at the borders and upgrading computer services and other facilities to speed up the procedures, the minister said.

Yarvas' comments came two days after His Majesty King Abdullah instructed officials to adopt immediate measures to facilitate travel and customs procedures at airports and border crossings.

King Abdullah told senior government and security officials as well as private sector representatives at a meeting on Thursday that he would personally follow up on the issue.

?I want to see tangible results on the ground soon,??? the King said at the meeting.

The Monarch stressed that tourists and investors visiting the Kingdom should be treated ?in a civilised manner that reflects Jordanian values and hospitality.???

Calling for plans to attract more tourists, King Abdullah said employees at the borders should be chosen in line with their capabilities, and trained to ?receive Jordan's guests with smiles and shining faces.???

Yarvas said one of the ministry's priorities is to speed up the entry and exit of travellers at Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA).

?We are planning to supply the immigration department at QAIA with passport scanning devices so travellers will not have to spend a long time queuing up,??? the minister said.

At the same time, Yarvas added, qualified employees will be chosen and trained on the new machines and how to deal professionally with visitors.

Sunday, May 15, 2005
[tags]local, news, QAIA, government[/tags]

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