Jerusalem24 – The losses of the tourism sector to Palestine during the past year were estimated at approximately 1.021 billion US dollars, after a 68% decrease in its spending compared to 2019, due to the “Corona” virus.
The Central Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities stated, in a joint press release, on the occasion of World Tourism Day, which falls on September 27, that the performance of the tourism sector in Palestine continues to decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in the Bethlehem Governorate, which annually receives more than 60 % of the total number of hotel guests and visitors coming to the West Bank.
The statement pointed out that the number of hotel guests during the first half of 2021 in the West Bank amounted to 765,58, and no hotel guest accommodation was registered in Bethlehem during this period, making it the most affected nationwide.
It is noteworthy that 77.2% of hotel guests in the West Bank are Palestinians from the 1948 territories, 22.5% are local guests, and only 0.3% are incoming guests from outside Palestine.
On the other hand, the governorate of Jericho and the Jordan Valley witnessed a record rise in the reception of hotel guests, to record 72% of the total guests in the West Bank during the first half of this year, where its share during previous years was no more than 7% of the total hotel guests in the West Bank. West Bank.
According to the statement, the number of incoming visits (one-day visitors) to tourist sites in the West Bank reached 314.8 thousand during the first half of 2021, (99.3% of whom were from the Palestinians of the 1948 territories). By 52% compared to the same period in 2020, and a decrease of 82% compared to the same period in 2019.
The number of incoming visits during the first half of 2021 was distributed by governorate as follows: 46% in Jericho and the Jordan Valley, 24% in Nablus, 14% in Jenin, and 16% of visits to the rest of the West Bank governorates.
While the tourist sites in the West Bank witnessed a slight improvement in the movement of local visitors during the first half of 2021, amounting to 880,000 visits to the various tourist sites, gardens and parks. Compared to the same period in 2020, the number of local visits increased by 48%, while compared to the same period in 2019, the percentage decreased by 52%.
Local visits were concentrated in Nablus governorate with 29%, followed by Ramallah and Al-Bireh governorate with 20% of the total local visits, and then Jenin and Qalqilya governorates with 16% and 14%, respectively.
Between the Statistics Bureau and the Tourism Ministry, in their statement, that there was an improvement in the number of workers in the tourism sector during the second quarter of 2021, as the number in activities related to the tourism sector reached 42,400 workers during the second quarter of 2021, with a rate of 4% of the total workers are from Palestine, where the number of workers in tourism activities increased by 18% compared to the same period in the year 2020, while compared to the year 2019, the number of workers in the tourism sector is still low by 2%.
They explained that the Corona pandemic had a tremendous social and economic impact, and both developed and developing economies were affected, and the marginalized and the most vulnerable were the most affected of all, and the resumption of tourism would help start recovery and growth.