Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Negatively Influences on Tourism in Region

Politics Materials 3 November 2008 16:35 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 3 November / Trend corr. U.Sadikhova / The Israeli-Palestinian conflict negatively influences on development of tourism in Israel. Therefore, it is necessary to involve the Palestinian Government into joint development of this field in the region.

"Lately, Israel has been interested in involvement of the Arabian tourists in the Palestinian region, Yahuda Shen, the director of the South and Central Europe Department of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, told Trend .

Israel lost 70% of tourist flow during the second intifada in 2002 and second Lebanese-Israeli War in 2006.

"Nobody wanted to visit the country, where blasts took place twice a week. Therefore, first, the Israeli Government should involve Palestinians to revive tourism," Shen said.

At present, work with the Palestinian tour operators in Jerusalem and in some regions of the Western Bank indicates that unlike the politics, tourism is a bridge amongst nations and countries, the Israeli official believes.

"Israel wants to involve the Palestinian Government in activity of the World Tourism Organization, which includes the Middle East regions, as well. We are engaged in arrangements of the Palestinian tour operators with this purpose," Shen said.

If the countries thought only about negotiations and ceasefire seven years ago, now there good prospects of joint development of tourism in the region, he said.

"If problems of refugees, security, use of water and further fate of negotiations create new problems, tourism helps Israel and Palestine temporarily to forget a conflict and conduct joint work," Shen said.

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