Ahmad | Business Owner | Amman, Jordan
How have your language school and tourism company been affected by COVID-19?
A: The tourism sector and international language schools are the two industries most impacted by COVID-19 in Jordan and around the world. There are no customers for businesses as a result of COVID-19. Back in March, a lot of customers and students began canceling their trips causing businesses to decline until there were absolutely no customers.
Do you feel like the needs of your businesses are being addressed at this time?
A: The government has been very supportive during this time by providing loans, but unfortunately it doesn’t make up for the profits we have lost due to the virus. Fortunately, social security compensation has provided aid for our employees and their salaries have been protected.
Do you have any suggestions for the government on how to help small businesses, specifically in the tourism industry?
A: When the borders reopen and coronavirus is finished, the government can help strengthen the tourism sector by promoting Jordanian tourism internationally. By doing this, they can support companies in recovering from all they lost this year. So far, we have lost the entire high season for tourism, which runs from March until June. We must use this time to think of strategies to improve tourism for when the international borders finally reopen.
What are you most looking forward to in the future?
A: I am looking forward to living my normal life again and business going back to normal. I miss the students at my school and doing activities with them. People will be eager to travel once the virus is no longer a threat, so hopefully, there will be even more business than before. After experiencing a pandemic, the government and businesses will need to be better prepared in case something like this ever happens again.
Ahmad runs a tourism company and an Arabic language school and is based in Amman, Jordan.