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The Kingdom of Time wants tourists to spend more time exploring it.
Jordan has often been viewed by some vacationers as an add-on destination to other Middle Eastern countries, such as Egypt, but Jordan Tourism Board director general Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat wants to change that.
“We’re adopting a new strategy presenting Jordan as a stand-alone destination,” Al Razzaq Arabiyat said during a September gathering of North American travel agents at the Jordanian Dead Sea.
“There’s a lot in Jordan to offer.”
History is often at the forefront of Jordanian tourism promotions, with Petra in particular highlighted. The ancient Nabatean city draws large numbers of tourists eager to see the likes of the towering Treasury, carefully carved from a rock face long ago.
But Al Razzaq Arabiyat noted that many other ancient civilizations helped shape modern Jordan, leading to the Kingdom of Time promotional slogan.
Another tourism highlight are the unusual desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, which Al Razzaq Arabiyat compared to the surface of Mars.
He noted that the agent event was taking place at the Dead Sea, the “lowest point on Earth.
“Jordan is an example of a continent,” Al Razzaq Arabiyat continued. “The diversity we have gives us a competitive edge.
“I always say in Jordan we have it all.”
Rudain Kawar, CEO of the Amman-based Kawar Group, which includes a tour company among its divisions, said during an Amman reception for some of the agents that his homeland has been influenced by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Muslims and Palestinians.
“This is really a crossroads of civilizations,” he added.
Tour guide Tamer Nassar noted the Romans left their mark on his homeland, with the Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash a popular stop on the Jordanian tourism circuit but Amman as well having Roman ruins, including an amphitheater.
“I always say that Roman ruins aren’t only found in Italy,” Nassar continued.
Tour guide Ahmad Malhas in turn said on a tour of the Jordanian capital that Roman structures once stood “wherever we’re stopping.”
Jerash in turn saw both the ancient Greeks and Romans “add their fingerprints” to it and the site is now the best preserved Roman site outside Rome and “signifies the history of the Middle East,” he said.
Malhas said Wadi Rum and Petra quickly come to mind when tourists think of Jordan but those exploring Amman will realize that there’s an urban side to the country too.
Malhas noted that Jordan also has countless Biblical sites, including Mount Nebo, from which Moses saw the Promised Land.
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