With tourism to the Middle East in decline, visiting Jordan’s mesmerising sights is now a solitary experience. But the silence and emptiness only add to their allure

“You are safe and sound here,” the gift shop owner said, as he handed over some change. At breakfast, the waiter had been similarly reassuring. “I always tell my guests they are in a very safe place. There might be issues around the corner,” he said, pouring out tea. “But here you are perfectly safe.”

After a while these repeated soothing asides became rather disconcerting. I hadn’t expected to find Jordan anything other than peaceful, but since the bottom has fallen out of the tourism industry because of the conflict in neighbouring Syria, most people you meet have an urge to emphasise how risk-free a trip here is.

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Source: The Guardian

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