Bethlehem Struggles With Tourism Economy

Bethlehem Struggles With Tourism Economy

The Church of the Nativity draws as many as 5,000 visitors a day on average. Most are same-day tourists; they spend very little in the local economy. The Palestinians want to change this bias, defying the periodic violence that makes strategic planning difficult, if not impossible. One pillar of tourism development is the Palestine Investment Fund. The sovereign fund has an asset base of some $800 million. While the number is modest by global standards, it can go a long way in a tourism economy dominated by small businesses. A twist in the story is the impetus from evolving tourist demographics. More and more visitors are arriving from increasingly-prosperous Asia and Africa. Cross-border investors in that mix are likely to discern frontier-market risk far better than those based in Western nations.

Learn more at The National.

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Image shows the silver star that marks the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. Credit: WDGPhoto at Can Stock Photo Inc.