BY, Brett Tollman
Chief Executive, TTC
After warm goodbyes, we proceeded on to the Dead Sea, where the tourism conference was to be held, with local industry leaders and government officials. We stayed at the Marriott Dead Sea, which has a beautiful setting and provided outstanding service, warmth and charisma. Their leader, Philip Papadopoulos, is a very enigmatic, personable hotelier, with a huge personality and who charmed and entertained us both days we were there. Unfortunately, like elsewhere in the world affected by climate change and other factors, the Jordan river is dying and so is the Dead Sea, as it keeps evaporating.
The Dead Sea is around 425 meters below sea level, the lowest point on earth and so has much better oxygen levels. Being water is scarce (I learnt that Jordan is the third poorest country for fresh water), farming in the area is mostly vegetables that consume less water, such as cabbage, zucchini and eggplant. There is little vegetation, though I saw many Acacia trees along the Rift Valley there, which reminded me of my birth continent, Africa. This area is also a major migration route for birds in March and September, as they travel between Africa and Europe, especially huge flocks of white flamingoes.