Forgotten beach world: Scattered regions of the Dead Sea

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The shrunken Dead Sea in 2002

As Jordan recovers from the terrorist attacks of 2015, it is fighting to retain its tourist-friendly reputation and attract new visitors.

Key among the country’s efforts to win back tourists are the refurbished and extended Biblical settlements of Petra and Aqaba.

The Dead Sea, however, is in decline. Worshippers in religious processions are among those who visit here from time to time.

The Atlantic Ocean just around the vicinity has shrunk steadily in recent decades. The geology of the area has also contributed to shrinking the sea in some parts – salt deposits causing rock erosion.

Jordanians used to be used to driving on the edge of the Dead Sea, but the coastal road in Ophir, the westernmost point, has not existed for more than a decade now.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Dead Sea Waterfalls and Morasha Valley, near to Karak, once formed a vibrant tourist centre

The shrinking sea drew the attention of tourists at the beginning of the year.

Many questioned why the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) had so far only run a digital billboard advertising its Dead Sea Expedition.

At a time when the country is struggling to attract tourists, Jordan unveiled a multimedia initiative aimed at promoting the Dead Sea as a travel destination.

The figures for 2018 are being analysed, but it is expected that many visitors will be attracted to the region for spiritual, spiritual music festivals.

In 2011, several Palestinian families visited the then island of Sderot in the northern Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.

In 2015, Qawarth Nasser, the daughter of leader of the Palestinian branch of Fatah, Yasser Arafat, went to Petra.

However, the unique landscape of the Dead Sea is a lack of funds, says Just-e-Raad, the Jordanian film critic.

The shooting in 2015 on the beach of Amman, one of the main tourist spots in the city, caused a loss of 300-500,000 tourists.

But Just-e-Raad says the Lebanese border, just across the Jordan River, has more attractions to attract tourists.

Its famous Dead Sea villages include the picturesque Walaje and Wadi Rum.

“Before the killing of children, I never thought of the Jordanian coastline as a tourist destination. Now I want to explore the process of history,” says Tahafour Al-Jahhal, a Jordanian tourist.

She says that on the banks of the river she will see “the process of animals crossing the water, visiting trees, and the desert tombs.”

Al-Jahhal is of the belief that the changing nature of the Jordan River will change the direction of the Dead Sea itself.

The challenge is to make tourists travel, says Rami Salama, spokesman for JUST.

“In the meantime, if only to call up before contacting someone, one could say that one can’t even drive on the Dead Sea road. There are claims by JUST that the road is being abandoned.”

Salama adds that JUST has recently revived the road.

“If the Jordan River is collapsing then there will be no Bedouin markets and there will be no villages with mosques,” says Salama. “Jordan has a rich history but it should not be ignored because of individual opinions or eccentricity.”

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