Palestine and Israel develop tourism amid war

Despite the conflict in the Gaza Strip, Israel and Palestine have space to promote tourism in Madrid International Tourism Fair (FITUR), an opportunity to reclaim their enclaves, inform visitors and demonstrate that tourism does not understand war.

“In tourism we don’t know about war, in tourism we only know how to talk about peace. This is a situation that we know will end, that peace will prevail, there are Israeli operators who continue to work and cooperate with their Palestinian counterparts,” he emphasizes. EFE Dolores Perez Frias, Director Israel Tourism Office in Spain.

The stand, located in Hall 4 of the fair, showcases the country’s highlights, away from the conflict in the Gaza Strip, which has claimed the lives of almost 25,700 Gazans, including more than 10,000 children.

Nearby, in Hall 6, framed by an area dedicated to Asia, is the Palestine stand, where Majed Ishak, the company’s general director of marketing Palestinian Ministry of Tourismasserts that his presence at the fair is intended to defend his flag and “international obligation.”

In this sense, Palestine has never missed the Madrid Tourism Fair, an exhibition to which they come “despite moments of great difficulty.” But this year we especially wanted to be here. “We insisted on coming.”

Photo: EFE

“Our presence here has political value,” adds Ishaq, who also believes they should support tour operators who work with Palestine and thus can communicate with tourists after about 1,000 trips were canceled recently.

A Palestinian official says they received “tremendous solidarity from Spain” during the fair, with visitors able to gain first-hand information about what is happening in the Gaza Strip.

“Many of our visitors are pilgrims, but we have found that after the conflict, many young people now want to know more about Palestine, and they told us that the first thing they will do when the war is over is visit the country and get to know its People. “Many people,” he says, “cried when they learned about our history.”

Despite closure for tourismThey hope that “travelers will return when the conflict is over, so we must continue to promote this destination.”

For his part, the Israeli representative assures that “restoring trust is something that will take time. “There is nothing against fear.”

Photo: EFE

“Inside the pain, life is normal. Museums are open, restaurants are open.. And the first groups from Spain arrive, making a full religious tourist tour. They do this and tell us that they attend everything they have planned. And this is news. The conflict is located far from the tourist route. This means that airlines are coming back,” he clarifies.

“In terms of tourism, we are experiencing a decline. Three airlines have stopped flying. We have 5% of regular tourists compared to what we had in December. We understand fear very well. The day this problem is resolved, rebuilding trust will take time,” he concludes.


Source: Aristegui Noticias