Palestinian territories

Palestinian territories: Sustainable economic development through tourism

In 2019, approximately four million travelers visited Israel; but only about one third visited the Palestinian territories – which are only accessible via Israel – and less than every 10th tourist spent at least one night in a local hotel. Hence, the Palestinian economy still derives very little benefit from the current touristic boom in the region. However, at the same time, there are sure indications that "Palestine" is advancing to be internationally perceived as a distinctive travel destination and German tour operators are moving forward to include the West Bank in their offers.

The Palestinian tour operators' association HLITOA is therefore focusing especially on targeted destination marketing in selected markets, including the German-speaking countries.

In 2018, tourists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland combined were the second-most visiting group of travelers (358.000 guests), surpassed only by US-citizens.

Using the slogan "Palestine – In the Heart of the Holy Land", the association promotes the Palestinian territories as an independent travel destination nestled between Israel and Jordan.

As part of its cooperation with the Palestinian territories in the field of sustainable economic development and job creation, Germany supports HLITOA's activities. German experts are providing advice to the association and its members on destination development, international marketing and product development, and they help the association get in touch with travel agencies in Europe and North America.

Results to date

Based on earlier project phases, the association presented its dedicated tour catalogue Palästina, Israel & Jordanien in March 2019. Comprising 150 pages, 11 Palestinian tour operators offer about 50 new ideas for traveling in the Holy Land with an emphasis on "Palestine".

The launch of the catalogue in the German-speaking market was accompanied by a marketing and media campaign to expedite sales in European travel offices. In addition, the association continues promoting the destination in key touristic trade fairs such as ITB (Berlin) and CMT (Stuttgart). Steadily growing numbers of booth visitors confirm that the association is on the right track with its efforts.

Meanwhile, Palestinian agencies received first requests from German tour operators, which to date were not featuring the Palestinian territories as a destination.

Project data

Envisaged duration: March 2018 to March 2021

Financial volume: 6 million euros (2015-2018), of which 450,000 euros has been earmarked for tourism