Tourism accounts for 14% of Jordan’s GDP, with receipts in 2014 up 10% year-on-year. Efforts are under way to diversify Jordan’s tourism offerings with an emphasis being placed on religious tourism, aimed particularly at visitors from East Asia, while Jordan’s medical infrastructure remains one of the country’s most valuable tourism assets with the World Bank ranking Jordan the top medical tourism destination in the Middle East and fifth in the world in 2011. Adventure and eco-tourism is also on the rise, as part of the kingdom’s wider push to attract younger visitors. Meanwhile, new luxury developments in the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea demonstrate Jordan’s intention of establishing itself as a major holiday destination in the region.
This chapter contains an interview with Nidal Katamine, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities.