Misinformation, hostile media and ignorance have caused the central market of Amman, the capital of Jordan, to fall off the itinerary of tourists who travel to the Middle East these days. Similarly, the pyramids in Egypt, the beaches of Tel Aviv and the beautiful mosques in Istanbul are visited only by the extreme adventure seekers.
True: Tourism in the Middle East has seen many ups and downs in the recent years.
But! Despite what is commonly thought, the stats tell a different story. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, total tourism in the Mediterranean rose by 4% last year.
True: Western governments frequently issue travel warnings to the region.
But! The travel warnings are not consistent and frequently change their direction and content. While for example the New Zealand government advises against non-business travel to Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump visits the country and encourages business and tourism.
Confusing? We agree ..!
Of course, no place in the world is 100% safe. Neither is the Middle East. So we suggest to start in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean basin has many magnificent spots that are unique and perfect for a trip that combines culture, religion, landscapes and mind-changing encounters.
Just keep in mind: Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Jordan are as safe as most countries in the world, if not safer. These countries offer tourists a mixture of sun and beaches, bustling markets and huge shopping malls, ski slopes, holy sites, castles, churches and mosques, diving and rock climbing.