Civil Administration will continue to work toward increasing number of visitors to one of Judea and Samaria’s holiest sites
Date: 19/12/2011, 11:44 AM Author: IDF (Zahal) Website
Hotels and shops are filled in Bethlehem as the city enjoys another busy and exciting Christmas season. With over 1.5 million tourists expected to visit this year, Bethlehem is continuing a recent trend of attracting people from all over the world seeking an authentic Christmas experience in the city widely believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
Bethlehem is a relatively small city, hosting a resident population of 22,000. During Christmas, however, the population swells by over 400%, amounting to a huge injection of economic activity as pilgrims and tourists keep shopkeepers, hotel owners, and tour guides busy. Each year about $250 million are poured into Bethlehem during Christmas, constituting a staggering 15% of its gross domestic product.
The Civil Administration recognizes the religious and economic importance of Bethlehem and will continue to work toward increasing the influx of tourists and pilgrims looking to enjoy this holiday season in one of the Judea and Samaria Region’s holiest locations.
Thanks to www.infolive.tv for the footage from inside Bethlehem.