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Jordan Tours: AMMAN — Jordan has topped a list of 35 of the “World’s Best Places to Travel in 2017” compiled by travel website Matador Network.
The website, the “world’s largest independent travel publisher”, described Jordan as a “completely safe oasis isolated from the instability of the region”.
“Jordan is a place of supernatural beauty,” the website said, citing sites such as Wadi Rum, 328km south of Amman, and the ancient city of Petra, 235km south of the capital.
“Petra is so ancient you could use the Bible as your guidebook rather than a Lonely Planet,” the website said.
Matador also listed Salt, 35km northwest of Amman, the northern city of Jerash, with its Greco-Roman sites, the capital as key destinations.
“Travel here with an open mind, and get ready for and a hospitality that will blow away any expectations,” the network recommended.
The list also featured Los Angeles (second place), followed by Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.
In addition, it included various cities in Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America.
The only other Arab destination, besides Jordan, on the list is Abu Dhabi (17th place).
Individual overnight visitors to the Kingdom in 2016 were around 3.86 million, registering a 2.6 per cent increase compared to 2015, while group overnight visitors were around 314,000, registering a 20 per cent increase over the same period, according to the Tourism Ministry.
A total of 465,000 tourists visited the ancient Nabataean city of Petra in 2016, registering almost a 14 per cent surge compared to some 400,000 visitors in 2015.
In addition, Jerash, 48km north of Amman, received over 211,000 visitors, marking an 18 per cent rise compared to 2015.
Wadi Rum received 105,000 visitors last year, registering a 60 per cent increase compared to 2015.