King leads tourists on discovery of Jordan

A group of European visitors sample Egyptian hospitality.

It's hard to imagine a king on the back of a motorbike cruising down the motorways to showcase his country as a holiday destination, but in Discovery Channel's Royal Tour of Jordan, King Abdullah II of Jordan does just that.

The Royal Tour of Jordan is premiering on Discovery Channel at 7.00pm on March 10 and follows the King of Jordan as he jumps on the back of his beloved Harley Davidson to take viewers on an exclusive tour of his realm.

At 39 years of age, King Abdullah is one of the youngest monarchs in the world. During the tour, he passionately discusses his country and people with viewers.

The tour takes in all of the country's most beautiful and historic sights, including the ancient city of Petra, a Bedouin village in the arid Wadi Rum desert, the stunning Ragadan Palace in the capital, Amman, the cosmopolitan Red Sea resort of Aqaba, and the revitalising health resorts of The Dead Sea.

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks and the continued unrest in neighbouring Israel, Jordan's once bustling tourist trade has faltered and the number of people visiting the country has not surprisingly waned in recent months.

The king is determined that people will return to his country again, particularly as tourism plays an important part of the country's economy.

"I'm doing this programme because I think it shows the spirit of Jordan, what a magnificent land and nation we have and the tremendous surprises and treasures that Jordan holds," says King Abdullah.

En route around Jordan, King Abdullah also talks about how his life changed overnight when he ascended to the throne after his father's death in 1999.