Jordan’s heaving desert sands have made a recent world headlines and the government aims to lure more tourists back as the Dead Sea shrinks rapidly.
Jordan is a family holiday destination for far flung destinations such as Berlin, Paris, Gibraltar and many of the British in the North East. But in the past three years, as visitors spend less time inside or as the days grow shorter, as climate change hit dry lands, the desert is losing popularity and many are seeking new options.
“Thanks to social media, we are getting out to the wider community now,” Ester Pacheco-Naranjo, economic and tourism development officer of the government’s ministry of tourism told Al Jazeera.
The National Ministry of Tourism estimates that tourists spend around 150 billion Jordanian dinars per year, more than 95 percent of which comes from the country’s Eastern cities, bringing in travelers from Canada, Spain, and other local markets, part of what has made Jordan a global tourist destination.
“Jordanians are doing a great job, without recognition,” Alan Hansen, another hotel worker told Al Jazeera.
Recent efforts have included sprucing up the Dead Sea’s The Dead Sea has been losing its azure shores due to evaporation. The shrinking bodies of water have affected Dead Sea, one of the world’s largest bays. Some say the Dead Sea should be renamed the Sea of Mixed Impacts because it has subsided over the last two centuries.
Egypt on a recent visit to the Dead Sea shelled out $1 million for a study to reestablish 30 feet of the lake’s water.
The government has also sent a team to Jaçak (Turkey) on new tourism venture, hewn hills, and is exploring the possibility of an underwater acropolis and apartments in “The City of Living Waters.”
“The city will be a hub of enterprise, tourism, banking, media, tourism and entertainment,” tourism minister Ahmad Awadeh told Al Jazeera.
The country’s tourism ministry and city of Petra are also working together on a plan to draw tourists away from sightseeing and into the arid city to get an even wider view of the region.
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