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Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Jordan: Better Than Ever

Written by  Lisa Loverro

Africa-HiltonDeadSeaWe all know it’s pretty tricky to sell the Middle East to a first-time visitor, and with all the unrest happening in the region, it’s harder than ever. There’s one country, however, that has maintained a sense of normalcy, a country that consistently delivers a unique Middle Eastern experience while simultaneously offering a comfortable and safe stay. That country is Jordan. But how to effectively sell this destination? Well, if you look at the facts it’s pretty simple. Jordan is a U.S. ally and possesses a western attitude, blended together with Middle Eastern tradition. Additionally, with English as their second language, maneuvering around the country is quite easy. Its biggest selling point, besides being home to one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, is it’s place in biblical history. And if you look at the numbers of other countries visiting there, it’s even easier to sell. The Jordan Tourist Board announced a growth of 20 percent in UK visitor numbers in August 2013 - a record number of visitors for that month. Jordan welcomed 5,707 UK tourists to the country in the month of August 2013 alone, compared to 4,754 during the same month in the previous year.

Steeped in history

Jordan is filled with an incredible amount of history, most of it drawing from biblical times, specifically the Old Testament. While we have all read how Moses stood on Mount Nebo to view the Promised Land or parted the Red Sea, it’s not until you visit these places that you begin to understand the magnitude of this country - so rich in both archeological jewels and 
historical significance. 

Beyond its biblical importance, Jordan is a kingdom filled with so many other natural and manmade treasures to inspire clients for a visit. The most impressive archeological site, Petra, is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Carved into red stone, this ancient Nabatean city dates back to the 6th century BC. There are also the Roman ruins of Jerash, the ancient city of Madaba to visit and, of course, a visit to this country would not be complete without directing your clients to the Dead Sea for bragging rights on visiting the lowest point on Earth. 

Accommodation

More and more hotel chains have opened properties in Jordan and there are many planning to open in the next few years. The Dead Sea welcomed the Hilton Dead Sea Resort and Spa, (www.hilton.com), a 5 star luxury hotel destination. It offers accommodations consisting of 177 deluxe rooms, 85 executive rooms, 20 junior suites, two executive suites and a presidential suite. The Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa is part of Emaar International Jordan’s Samarah Dead Sea Resort, an integrated community that, aside from the hotel, will house 1,000 residences, retail and leisure facilities. The Dead Sea also saw the arrival of the Crowne Plaza (www.crowneplaza.com/deadseajordan) in 2012. 

The capital city of Amman already houses The Kempinski (www.kempinski.com)The Four Season (www.fourseasons.com) and the Grand Hyatt (www.amman.grand.hyatt.com), but will soon offer more options with plans slated for the St. RegisW, and Fairmont which are all scheduled to open in 2016. In the resort town of Aqaba, located on the Red Sea, the Westin plans to open its door in 2016 as well. 

If your clients are looking for a spa getaway, Jordan also delivers. The Six Senses Evason Ma’ln Hot Springs Spa (www.sixsenses.com) is an oasis in the middle of a barren mountain range, sitting at almost 1,000 feet below sea level with cascading waterfalls feeding into some of the hottest springs visitors will ever encounter. Just 8 miles from the earth’s lava bed, the waters of these springs can reach up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The resort itself is a luxury property with spa treatments utilizing resources from the mineral rich springs.

In addition to all this good news about hotels, the country’s premier ecolodge, Feynan (www.feynan.com), was named as one of the top 25 ecolodges in the world by National Geographic Traveler magazine. So, there seems to be lots of reasons to keep Jordan on your radar when recommending an exotic destination for your clients.

Royal Jordanian Airlines and Delta offer non-stop flights from New York City to Amman, Jordan. For more information check www.visitjordan.com

 

 

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