Tourists photograph Al Khazneh (not visible) upon arriving in Petra.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Jordan's economy. In 2010, over 8 million tourists from various countries visited Jordan, with tourist receipts amounting to about 3.5 billion dollars. An additional $1 billion was earned through medical tourism to the kingdom. In 2011, Jordanian tourism lost $1 billion due to the political instability across the region.
Its major tourist attractions include visiting historical sites, like the worldwide famous Petra (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, and one of New Seven Wonders of the World), the Jordan River, Mount Nebo, Madaba, numerous medieval mosques and churches, and unspoiled natural locations (as Wadi Rum and Jordan's northern mountainous region in general), as well as observing cultural and religious sites and traditions.
Jordan also offers health tourism, which is focused in the Dead Sea area, education tourism, hiking, scuba diving in Aqaba's coral reefs, pop-culture tourism and shopping tourism in Jordan's cities. More than half of the approximate 4.8 million Arab tourists in 2009, mainly from the GCC, said they plan to spend their holidays in Jordan.