Saturday, Sept. 05
Latest News
  1. Hungarian parliament introduces emergency anti-migration laws
  2. Putin says Assad agrees to early parliamentary polls
  3. Morocco votes in test for Islamist government
  4. UAE says 22 Emirati soldiers killed in Yemen
  5. Bob Geldof offers to house four Syrian families
  6. IS blows up famed tower tombs at Syria's Palmyra
  7. Drowned Syrian boy Aylan buried as Europe wrangles over refugees
  8. EU under pressure to agree refugee quotas as ministers meet
  9. Israeli army: 5 tourists attacked by local residents in Hebron
  10. Death toll in IS Yemen mosque attack rises to 32
  11. Netanyahu defends Iran deal fight after Obama secures support
  12. Security sources: 4 Turkish police killed in PKK bombing
  13. Hungary's Orban: Migrant crisis is German, not European problem
  14. WHO: Liberia declared free of Ebola - again
  15. Official: over 230,000 refugees arrive in Greece this year
  16. Guatemalan president resigns over corruption firestorm
  17. Double suicide attack kills 30 in North Cameroon
  18. Italy PM says Europe 'cannot just get emotional' about migrants
  19. Court: Two British reporters held in Turkey to be released
  20. Chung claims 'fraud' in FIFA presidential poll

Tourism sector suffers decline in face of Gaza assault

Aug. 17, 2014 10:34 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 19, 2014 10:26 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The tourism industry in Palestine has suffered a serious decline as a result of the Israeli offensive on Gaza, the head of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said Saturday.

Tourism has declined by approximately 60 percent since the beginning of the assault, which in addition to causing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza has led to increased tensions in the West Bank, Minister of Tourism Rula Maayah told Ma'an.

Before the war, the tourism sector was experiencing a boom, but thousands of tourists have since canceled their reservations, Maayah said.

In August 2013, 83,000 tourists visited Palestine, but as war raged in Gaza at the beginning of August 2014, only 17,000 tourists visited.

Hotel owners say all rooms would have been booked in September if reservations hadn't been cancelled as a result of the Gaza war, the minister told Ma'an.

Maayah said she hoped tourism would improve ahead of the Christmas season, a time which typically sees the Palestinian city of Bethlehem swarming with tourists.

Separately, the war on Gaza has done physical damage to some of Palestine's historical and religious sites, she told Ma'an.

The Strip's ancient seaport, which is the site of a port believed to have been used in the spice trade in the first century B.C.E and later by the Romans, was damaged during the war.

The port, which has not been in operation since the imposition of the Israeli blockade on Gaza in 2006, was about to be named on the UNESCO world heritage list, Maayah told Ma'an.

Additionally, old mosques in Gaza such as the Hashim al-Mamlouki mosque and the al-Omari mosque were damaged, as well as the Prophet Yousef's sanctuary, she said.

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015