Jordan saw a fresh wave of interest from British tourists in 2012, with the number of UK visitors to the Middle Eastern country hitting a record high of 69,845 last year. (Featured image by Eric Borda)
The figures from the Jordan Tourist Board revealed that the number of UK holidaymakers descending on the country, as it celebrated two significant anniversaries, climbed by 3.5 per cent year-on-year.
2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the rediscovery of the ancient city of Petra and the 50th anniversary of the release of film Lawrence of Arabia – shot for the most part in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert.
October saw the greatest number of UK visitors to Jordan in 2012, totalling 6,647. January saw the largest growth compared to 2011, rising by 17.9 per cent last year.
Stephen Hurp, the Jordan Tourism Board country manager for the UK and Ireland, said: “We have now seen year-on-year growth in every year since 2009, which is testament to the stability of Jordan as a destination, as well as the resilience of the UK travelling public.
“We are delighted to report the growth in visitor numbers throughout 2012 and hope that Brits will continue to demonstrate their confidence in Jordan as a holiday destination throughout 2013 and continue to explore our ancient sites, rich tapestry of history and epic landscapes.”
Jordan’s tourist board has compiled a list a top ten “must do” activities in Jordan. The list includes strolling through Petra’s Siq, the main entrance to the city, visiting the ancient ruins in Jerash (one of the recommendations for 2013 from National Geographic Traveler), floating in the Dead Sea and diving in the Gulf of Aqaba.
Despite news of political unrest in the country, the Foreign Office confirmed that around 88,000 British nationals visited Jordan in 2011, and said that most visits are trouble-free.
The Foreign Office is currently only advising against all but essential travel to within 3km of the Syrian border from the Sad Al-Wihdeh Dam up to, but not including, the Jaber crossing.