Unrest in the Middle East brought a dip in tourism as uneasy travelers looked to other vacation destinations to spend their travel dollars. Following the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, the region’s travel dipped upwards of 8 percent as reported by the U.N. World Tourism Organization. Where lines once swelled around the pyramids, the year 2011 meant bookings and visitors to area attractions dwindled. However, Middle Eastern tourism has surpassed comeback status and is trending in areas from Jordan to Egypt and beyond, with reports of double-digit growth of an 11.2 percent increase in travel bookings.
Travel and tour agencies are packaging experiential travel to visitors looking for an adventure. The new 370-mile trek through monuments and villages on the Jordan Trail takes visitors on an adventure of a lifetime. Food tourism is nothing new, but culinary travel is on the rise in the Middle East as visitors line up to try Palestinian cooking classes and sample the best local delicacies. Inteprid Travel’s Iran Real Food Adventure takes visitors through a world of spices, meats and stews on a trip from Tehran to Shiraz for a culturally immersive experience. Traditional travel favorites like Dubai Desert dune buggy riding, daytrips to Petra and an exploration of the pyramids remain popular favorites for bucket list travelers new to the region.
Like anywhere in the world, travelers should check Middle Eastern travel advisories before booking and embarking on their next adventure. Stick to areas with a stable government with little political unrest to ensure the most smooth and stress-free travel as possible.
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