Tourism in Jordan

Tourism

Tourism in Jordan

Jordan’s location and history have helped it become a tourist destination. The country, with its ancient ruins and modern capital, is striving to become the leading attraction for tourists in the Arab region. The Ministry of Tourism has launched world-wide campaigns to attract tourists, and this has been partially successful.

Ministry of Tourism figures show that the total number of visitors was about 8 million in 2010, up from about 7 million in 2009. About a million of those visited Petra, 400,000 Jerash, 160,000 the Baptism Site (see below), and 400,000 Mount Nebo, from which Moses purportedly viewed the Promised Land. Officials fear that uprisings in the region since the beginning of 2011 could damage tourism.At the crossroads of Asia, Jordan was on a route taken by merchants trading between East and West. Jordan has a rich history, having been home to civilizations of the Romanbiblicalearly Islamic, and Crusader periods. Several sites bear witness to these civilizations, including the rose-red city of Petra, the Baptism Site, and the columns and Roman theatres of Jerash and Amman

  • Amman: The history of Jordan’s capital goes back to the Stone Age. It is home to one of the largest Neolithic settlements (c. 6500 BCE) ever discovered in the Middle East. At Amman’s heart are the Citadel and the Amphitheatre, which are favourite tourist destinations.
  • Mount Nebo, which has been a destination for Christian pilgrims, is the most revered holy site in Jordan. Its first church was built in the late 4th century, and the late Pope John Paul II visited it on his millennial pilgrimage.

The Baptism Site is where John the Baptist is said to have lived and baptized in the early Roman era. Jordan’s Department of Antiquities has identified the remains of several churches and other structures on the site. The government has opened the Baptism Archaeological Park to the public, allowing people to visit the remains of churches, a Byzantine monastery, and other ancient ruins.

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the land surface of the earth, more than 400 metres below sea level, and its water, adored by tourists, is saturated with salt and other minerals; its salinity is more than eight times that of sea water, which makes it almost impossible for a swimmer to sink. Tourists also enjoy slathering their skin with its rich black mud, which is considered a natural cosmetic. The Dead Sea is the site of many international luxury hotels, including Holiday InnMövenpick, and Kempinski.

Petra, about 300 kilometres from Amman, was voted one of the seven wonders of the world in 2007 and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is one of the national treasures of the kingdom and probably its best known tourist attraction. The famous Treasury lies at the inner end of the eastern entrance, a long, narrow gorge called the Siq. The city was carved entirely in rose-red rock by the Nabataeans, a nomadic Arab people who settled in Jordan more than two thousand years ago.