Jordan Tells Its Own Story

The Jordan Tourism Board North America’s director says visitors should not be dissuaded from touring the Middle Eastern nation because of what’s happening across its borders, reports Ian Stalker in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.

Malia Asfour, the the board’s director, concedes that news reports of often horrific violence from Syria and Iraq hamper Jordanian tourism promotion efforts but insists all is well within her homeland and those visiting it can do so safely.

“It’s unfortunate that the whole region is painted with one brush stroke,” she says. “We closed our 2014 season with great increases from both Canada and the US. The Canadian market has become a source market for Jordan. Jordanians are known for their Bedouin hospitality and for welcoming travellers from all over the world.

“Being in a noisy neighbourhood has definitely worked against us, especially with the sensationalism from the mainstream media. However, we try to combat this by taking travel agents and media to experience Jordan for themselves. This I believe is the best way to educate and combat misperception.”

At least one major Canadian tour operator agrees, with the Toronto-based company planning its annual “Ultimate Fam” to Jordan in the fall.

“Life in Jordan is business as usual and our doors are open for tourists,” maintains the US-based Asfour, who says she wouldn’t hesitate to take her own kids to visit Jordan today. She adds, the only countries in the Middle East she wouldn’t visit with her family are Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, all of them notably strife-torn.

For the full story in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier, click here .