Palestinian Tourism is full of enthusiasm to conquer the leading position in the world

Renowned Palestinian hospitality, impeccable service, historic and religious sites brought millions of visitors to the Holy Land, and until 2000, no one could expect that flourishing Palestinian tourism would turn into ruins. With the Israeli occupation, regular bombings of historic and cultural sites and even hotels, Palestinian tourism industry as well as foreign investors have lost Nine hundred and fifty million dollars during 2000-2004. However, today Palestine tries to rehabilitate its image and reputation of one of the most hospitable countries in the world.

According to WAFA News Agency, The Ministry of Tourism evaluated the loss of the Palestinian tourism industry from late September 2000 until July only at two hundred and fifty million dollars. Total loss of Palestinian tourism industry in the period 2000-2004 is estimated at nine hundred and fifty million dollars. Israeli war practices have reflected directly in the decrease of number of visitors and consequently in approximately fifty percent staff release in once flourishing Palestinian tourism industry. Many hotels, archeological and historical sites were destroyed. For instance, in Bethlehem, the second major tourist attraction after Jerusalem, most of the hotels have suffered extensive damage from regular Israeli bombardments and air strikes. The Bethlehem 2000 Project, which was designed to host the millennium celebrations from Christmas until Easter 2001, has lost at least thirty five million dollars in advertisement costs and fifteen million dollars in tourism contracts.

Is Palestinian tourism able to overcome these tragedies and bring itself again to the position of world-renowned tourist center? In fact, Palestine is an open field for million-dollar projects. The Palestinian tourism industry focuses on religious tourism. Palestine is the birthplace of Jesus Christ and Christianity as well as the most significant land in religious history of humanity. In addition, Jerusalem is the third holiest city in Islam, giving limitless potential for Islamic religious tourism.

Today, Palestinian tourism industry works hard on development new strategies and tactics. Once again, Palestine invites foreign investors to participate in promising tourist projects and renovations. According to numerous studies, Palestine is to be the world major tourist destination due to its abundance of attractions, hospitable people and beautiful setting. It does not mean that Palestine sets great stores on foreign investors only. The country carries out a number of measures to create greater level of tourism. Such hotel organizations as AHTA (Arab Hotel Association) provide both support and control of high quality hotel management. The aim of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is to increase the number of tourists from primary international markets to three million by 2010, and from key regional markets to quarter of a million annual visitors by the year 2005 and three quarters of a million by the year 2010.

Numerous travel agencies work on and market-test tourism packages (themes, routes, story lines), while media reports make each visitor assured in his safety and security as he visits Palestine.
More than that, Palestinian tourism expands on its boarders of religious theme.

The country welcomes visitors to take a kind of evidence-finding mission and learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict firsthand. You can also learn Arabic language in an Arabic-speaking country or work as a volunteer for any non-profit or humanitarian group. You can taste delicious Arabic cuisine and enjoy renowned Palestinian hospitality and hearty welcome.

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