Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Tourism in the Middle East

Written by Rev. H. Bergsma
Fighting in the Middle East has caused tourism to all but disappear, just when expectations for it were high. Airlines, hotels, shops, and restaurants had been expecting to set records throughout Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, according to The New York Times. Five major hotels opened in Israel and the West Bank and were anticipating a big year begun by globally televised Christmas festivities and a visit by Pope John Paul II. Occupancy is about 10 percent at hotels. Christian tour groups that were expected to make up most of the tourist business this fall are cancelling trips, travel agents report, according to the Times. Tens of thousands of jobs are being eliminated, slowing regional growth and adding to the stress of the political conflict, the Times reported. The tourist trade had begun to provide a profitable foundation for economic co-operation in the region since Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians have collaborated in promotions and itineraries for Holy Land tourists. (From The Calvary Contender)

I am told by reliable sources however, that tourists to Israel should not be afraid about this matter. Common sense must be used, (which is being used by tour-guides) so that a trip to Israel may still be safe and edifying. Of course, we need the LordÕs protection wherever we go.

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