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Published on : Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Bethlehem is holding its expectation on the forthcoming Easter season. It could be a great way for the city to get back to some of the tourism that it lost in the last two years for the coronavirus pandemic.
The restrictions of COVID-19 damaged the economy of the city completely which depends on tourism for 90% of its revenue. The border closures of Israel at the same for the last two-and-a-half years made it unfeasible for tourists to visit the Palestinian territories as well.
Bethlehem was calm and empty during the Christmas as well, the normally busy hotspot – Manger Square remained deprived of Christian tourists who would have been making their way to the birthplace of Jesus for the holiday. Before March 2020, annually the city of Bethlehem received up to more than 2.5 million visitors.
Now, however, Bethlehem is all set to welcome a huge rush of tourists under the slogan “Ready.” In the city, all hotel owners have revamped their hotels and taken fresh new staffs in hope of welcoming large groups of tourists.
“Tourist groups are arriving in satisfactory numbers, and we hope that numbers will continue to increase during the year,” Elias Al-Arja, president of the Arab Hotels Association and manager of the Bethlehem Hotel, told Arab News. “We closed for two-and-a-half years because of the pandemic.”