Palestinian tourism is in slow improvement

Published on : Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Palestinian tourismIn a recent message from the Palestinian Government, officials’ urges visitors to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, enjoy hummus, stuffed grapes leaves and spend the night in complete tranquility. This major push by the Palestinian Government is outlined to attract maximum tourists to Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron and other historic religious sites in the coming days.

 
In recent times, Israel witnessed steady growth in the number of tourists in many Palestinian biblical sites. During Christmas, there is an annual rush of tourists in Bethlehem. Majority of the tourists explore the sites as day trips like Manger Square, Church of the Nativity etc. However, the Khirbet Bal’ama water tunnel near Jenin, white-marble Yasser Arafat museum and the Sebastia Roman colonnade outside Nablus doesn’t get enough tourists whatsoever.

 
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), believes that sunbathing and spas on the Dead Sea and bike trails through the Jordan Valley are attracting large number of tourists to Bethlehem every year in spite of political tensions. To quote Saeb Erekat, ‘’If we had an independent state, it would be magnificent.’’ 2016 witnessed 2.4 million overseas visitors which was 2.2 million up the previous year and 2.5 million below 2014. More than 906,000 stays by foreign visitors were registered in 2016 in majority of the Palestinian hotels.

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