International conference on religious tourism in Bethlehem

Posted on Jun 29, 2015

An international conference on religious tourism with the goal of promoting local growth was held in Bethlehem.

Christian Media Center, June 22, 2015 – “Promote sustainable socio-economic development for the host communities:” this is the topic at the international conference on religious tourism that was held in Bethlehem on June 15 and 16. The regional program for tourism in the Middle East, a part of the UN’s World Organization for Tourism, promoted the event in cooperation with the Palestinian Tourism Ministry.

FADI QATTAN
Promoter, International Conference on Religious Tourism
“This is a historic conference, because it is the first time that the United Nations has organized a conference in Palestine, as a host country; this is an opportunity for tourism but it is also political.”

GEORGE BASSOUS
General Manager, Convention Palace—Bethlehem
“These conferences support and improve the situation of Palestinian citizens; because although it is a conference for the entire Middle East, it is a way of supporting the local economy.”

The international forum was attended by delegations from about 80 countries, with the goal of giving tourism organizations, representatives of religious communities, the private sector, academia and international and regional organizations, an opportunity to exchange views, perspectives and experiences on how to develop and promote religious tourism.

RA’FAT JAMIL
Director, Rozana company
“We are hopeful that the conference will give us the opportunity to introduce the concept and importance of social tourism and its role in Palestinian society.”

FADI QATTAN
Promoter, International Conference on Religious Tourism
“This conference is important, although it will not have immediate results. The results to which we aspire are twofold: the first one is breaking the typical image of Palestine, and the second one is to raise awareness that in Palestine there is a very great capacity for tourism, a rich culture.”

ISSAM JUHA
Assistant Mayor of Bethlehem
“It is true that perhaps we may not be able to have immediate results after this conference, but we expect that if we are able to apply the fundamental principles of sustainable religious tourism, we will see a sharp improvement in tourism in the future.”