Jordan is an oasis of peace and beauty. With its fruitful history and captivating landscape, it is where history meets modern day Middle East. From the serenity of Wadi Rum to the healing riches of the Dead Sea, Jordan's reach penetrates the heart and soul of travellers.
Visitors have the chance in embracing a rich historical experience whilst enjoying some of the greatest historical sites.
Responsible tourism provides tourists with exciting adventures. It creates demand through promotional activities that lead to direct investments, which in turn create new job opportunities.
Tourism plays a vital role in Jordan's economy, well known for its biblical and historical sites, exotic scenery and beautiful adventures Jordan's tourism sites make it a favoured travel destination worldwide.
The Jordanian government is also providing facilities in efforts to create a more developed sector with infrastructural developments such as high quality hotel facilities and enhanced roads.
The Jordan Tourism Board is committed to making Jordan the most responsible tourism destination in the Middle East through the following developed products chosen by the National Tourism Strategy (NTS) in Jordan:
- History and culture
- Religion and faith
- Fun and adventure
- Eco and nature
- Conferences and events
- Leisure and wellness
As a start we've created this new site for visitors. It reflects Jordan's commitment to responsible tourism, and is quite distinctive in the Middle East and indeed, worldwide.
You will notice that we've featured cultural and natural heritage sites that depict the historical and environmental aspects of the country - and are sufficient in employing local staff, sourcing local produce and supporting local conservation projects.
In addition, on the site you will find tips on things to see and do as well as a brief overview on Jordan's culture and history and ecology.
The Jordan Tourism Board would like to personally invite you to visit Jordan and enjoy our land of mesmerizing beauty and contrast. Take part in embracing and preserving our national treasures.
Nayef F. Al Fayez
Jordan Tourism Board
Aqaba Marine Park
Of Jordanís 27km coastline on the Red Sea, seven are protected as part of the Aqaba Marine Park. This includes five beaches plus 21 dive sites in some of the worldís most northerly coral reefs. Although this reef has suffered some damage, it has fared better than several other Red Sea sites, and an ongoing project is developing artificial reefs.
One of the most important responsible tourism activities here is to zone the park. This means that there different areas are assigned for leisure and glass bottomed boats, for swimming near the beaches, for diving and for research. The research areas are only open to park staff, keeping them as pristine and undisturbed as possible. The Marine Park Science Station has specialists in various disciplines of marine biology and ecology that carry out ongoing research.
But Aqaba is still under pressure. As this tiny stretch is Jordanís only coastline, shipping, fishing and tourism compete for space, and tourism in particular has grown rapidly over the past few years. Concerted education programmes, beach cleaning teams and organised dive clean ups have been set up to try and keep the growing amount of litter and waste under control. But education Ė for local people and visitors Ė is key to reducing the pressures in the long term. A visitorsí centre in the marine park has exhibitions on the local ecology, as well as sea shells collected from all over the world.
Madaba & the mosaics
Madaba is famed for its mosaics, which date back to the 5th and 6th centuries. These include a Byzantine mosaic map of the Holy Land in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, originally thought to have contained over 2.3 million pieces. More stunning examples can be seen in several of the town's other churches and in the Madaba Archaeological Museum. Madaba itself is over 3,500 years old, and is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. Nearby Mount Nebo is said to be the point from where Moses viewed the Promised Land. Itís no surprise then, that Madaba lures tourists and pilgrims from across the world to marvel at these ancient and holy wonders.
However, despite the number of tourist sites in and around Madaba, the majority of visitors come only on organised daytrips, which does little to benefit local communities. The Madaba Tourism Development Association is working to change this. A pilot project gives visitors the chance to visit local family farms to help pick olives or grapes and share a meal of local produce. There are also plans to take visitors by donkey into a beautiful part of the countryside that has a significant number of dolmens, large standing stone burial chambers dating from the Bronze Age.