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Palestinian Tourism Sector Loses over $1 Bn

Palestinian Tourism Sector Loses over $1 Bn

Monday, 28 September, 2020 - 07:15
A Palestinian woman wearing a mask in Bethlehem in the West Bank. File photo: Reuters

Palestine’s domestic tourism revenues, including inbound and domestic tourism, dropped about $1.15 billion after the spread of the coronavirus, according to an official statement.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities issued a press release on the occasion of World Tourism Day discussing the pandemic that brought all services and production sectors in Palestine and the world to a halt.

The sector's losses exceeded $1 billion due to the sharp decline in tourist numbers during the past ten months.

Over the past few years, the tourism sector in Palestine had grown in terms of investments and its contribution to the GDP, especially religious tourism.

The total expenditures on the tourism sector reached approximately nine percent of the GDP, which is about $1.5 billion, with 89 percent on inbound tourism and 11 percent on domestic tourism.

The impact of the pandemic was huge, especially in Bethlehem and Jerusalem that receive the largest number of guests and tourists.

Statistics show that 81 percent of hotel guests book in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, which makes them the most vulnerable.

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