Jordan Attracts

By | Category: Travel destinations

Think of Jordan – the country – and the first thing that probably comes to mind is Petra, its greatest tourist attraction. Carved into a rockface more than 2,000 years ago, the city is one of the wonders and must-see places of the world.
But is it only Petra that has caused such an upsurge in tourism in the last 6 months? What is attracting so many people to go there? Many countries have seen only a limited increase in visitors but Jordan has announced that visits by Britons are up over 30% over last year. Admittedly 2009, was a tough year for everyone as we tightened belts during the recession but it was also the year that proved we felt holidays were an important aspect to life. Other things would be cut back first. Nonetheless there were countries we have chosen not go to such as the US and most Caribbean countries yet other long haul countries do well. Jordan is one of those.
Just over two million people visited Jordan in the first 6 months of this year, an increase of just over half a million. Whilst Petra was the most popular place, it attracted only a quarter of all the visitors.
Where else are visitors going? Mount Nebo is reputed to be the place not only where Moses saw the promised land and, according to Hebrew tradition, is buried. (Islamic tradition puts his burial elsewhere.) On this mountain is a church from the 4th century and, from our own time, a sculpture of a cross with a serpent wrapped around it. Over 220,000 people came to this religious site in the same period. The third most popular area was Wadi Rum, not far from Aqaba, where visitors go to see the cliffs and the orangeness of the desert. Climbing and trekking make this a place for the adventurous
But Jordan provides more than history and it is the burgeoning growth of the Red Sea resorts that may see more Britons being attracted there in the future. Just as the Canary Islands answered the question of where to go to get guaranteed winter sunshine, Aqaba has every chance of becoming a similar destination in the future. Cruise ship visits are planned but for now, it is the experience of the diving that has been attracting people. Combine that with Wadi Rum and you have an adventure holiday that would fulfil most expectations. Or you could just laze on the sands.
So Jordan appeals to four types of visitors. It appeals to the ever growing number of religious tourists, those who look for sun, those with a thirst for adventure and those seeking our heritage.

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