Theme Week Jordan

Monday, 20 March 2017 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Petra at night © Susanahajer/cc-by-sa-3.0

Petra at night © Susanahajer/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jordan is an Arab kingdom in Western Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the east and south, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, Israel, Palestine and the Dead Sea to the west and the Red Sea in its extreme south-west. Jordan is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. The capital, Amman is Jordan’s most populous city as well as the country’s economic, political and cultural centre. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and is one of two Arab states to have signed a peace treaty with Israel. Jordan has very close ties to the United States of America and is considered to be a major non-NATO ally. It enjoys “advanced status” with the European Union and is part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which aims to increase links between the EU and its neighbours. The country is a constitutional monarchy, but the king holds wide executive and legislative powers. In the midst of surrounding turmoil, it has been greatly hospitable, accepting refugees from almost all surrounding conflicts as early as 1948, with most notably the estimated 2.1 million Palestinians and the 1.4 million Syrian refugees residing in the country. The kingdom is also a refuge to thousands of Iraqi Christians fleeing the Islamic State. While Jordan continues to accept refugees, the recent large influx from Syria placed substantial strain on national resources and infrastructure. The UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) is the second largest employer in the country.

Jordan is classified as a country of “high human development” with an “upper middle income” economy. The Jordanian economy, one of the smallest economies in the region, is attractive to foreign investors based upon a skilled workforce. The country is a major tourist destination, and also attracts medical tourism due to its well developed health sector. Nonetheless, a lack of natural resources, large flow of refugees and regional turmoil have crippled economic growth.

Petra at night © Susanahajer/cc-by-sa-3.0 Wadi Mujib © Effi Schweizer Mountain in Wadi Rum © Daniel Case/cc-by-sa-3.0 Jerash Gouvernement - Sakeb © Historyfeelings/cc-by-sa-3.0 Forest in Ajloun © Smart Viral/cc-by-sa-3.0 Dead Sea © Ranveig/cc-by-sa-3.0 Dana Biospehre Reserve © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0 Azraq Wetlands Reserve © Ldud/cc-by-3.0 Aqaba Montage © flickr.com - Makeandtoss/cc-by-2.0 Amman - Queen Alia International Airport Terminal © T1259/cc-by-sa-3.0 Amman - Jamal Abdul Nasser Circle © Tariq Ibrahim AbdulHadi/cc-by-sa-3.0 Al-Maghtas ruins are the location for the Baptism of Jesus and the ministry of John the Baptist © Producer/cc-by-2.5 Ajloun Castle built by Saladin in the 12th century © flickr.com - Uwe Brodrecht/cc-by-sa-2.0
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Al-Maghtas ruins are the location for the Baptism of Jesus and the ministry of John the Baptist © Producer/cc-by-2.5
The state of the tourism sector is widely regarded as below potential, especially given the country’s rich history, ancient ruins, Mediterranean climate, and diverse geography. The tourism sector is considered a cornerstone of the economy, being a large source of employment, hard currency and economic growth. In 2010, there were 8 million visitors to Jordan. The result was $3.4 billion in tourism revenues, $4.4 billion with the inclusion of medical tourists. The majority of tourists coming to Jordan are from European and Arab countries. The tourism sector in Jordan has been severely affected by regional turbulence. The most recent impact to the tourism sector was caused by the Arab Spring, which scared off tourists from the entire region. Jordan experienced a 70% decrease in the number of tourists from 2010 to 2016. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan is home to around 100,000 archaeological and tourist sites. Some very well preserved historical cities include Petra and Jerash, the former being Jordan’s most popular tourist attraction and an icon of the kingdom. Jordan is part of the Holy Land and has several biblical attractions that attract pilgrimage activities. Biblical sites include: Al-Maghtas where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Mount Nebo, Umm ar-Rasas, Madaba and Machaerus. Islamic sites include shrines of the prophet Muhammad‘s companions such as ‘Abd Allah ibn Rawahah, Zayd ibn Harithah and Muadh ibn Jabal. Ajlun Castle built by Muslim Ayyubid leader Saladin in the 12th century AD during his wars with the Crusaders, is also a popular tourist attraction.

Modern entertainment and recreation in urban areas, mostly in Amman, also attract tourists. Recently, the nightlife in Amman, Aqaba and Irbid has started to emerge and the number of bars, discos and nightclubs is on the rise. However, most nightclubs have a restriction on unescorted males. Alcohol is widely available in tourist restaurants, liquor stores and even some supermarkets. Valleys like Wadi Mujib and hiking trails in different parts of the country attract adventurers. Moreover, seaside recreation is present in on the shores of Aqaba and the Dead Sea through several international resorts. Jordan has been a medical tourism destination in the Middle East since the 1970s. A study conducted by Jordan’s Private Hospitals Association found that 250,000 patients from 102 countries received treatment in Jordan in 2010, compared to 190,000 in 2007, bringing over $1 billion in revenue. Jordan is the region’s top medical tourism destination, as rated by the World Bank, and fifth in the world overall. The majority of patients come from Yemen, Libya and Syria due to the ongoing civil wars in those countries. Jordanian doctors and medical staff have gained experience in dealing with war patients through years of receiving such cases from various conflict zones in the region. Jordan also is a hub for natural treatment methods in both Ma’in Hot Springs and the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is often described as a ‘natural spa’. It contains 10 times more salt than the average ocean, which makes it impossible to sink in. The high salt concentration of the Dead Sea has been proven as therapeutic for many skin diseases. The uniqueness of this lake attracts several Jordanian and foreign vacationers, which boosted investments in the hotel sector in the area.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on VisitJordan.com, History of Jordan, Culture of Jordan, World Heritage Sites in Jordan, Jordanian cuisine, Tourism in Jordan, Economy of Jordan, Politics of Jordan, Human rights in Jordan, Wikivoyage Jordan and Wikipedia Jordan. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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