Tour operators promote West Bank opportunities.
I In 2010, I had the opportunity to visit Palestine — not just Bethlehem, but other ancient cities too, places we usually seem to hear or read about only if there had been an “incident” of some sort. You can read my daily reports on this site between from June 20 , 2010 and July 7, 2010. I was asked to write some copy for the Holy Land Incoming Tour Operators Assn., the knowledgeable folks who provide visitors with insights to the history, sites, food and even politics of places. Founded in 20015 in East Jerusalem to promote what I call “the rest of the Holy Land, these are the folks who will show you around and look after you when you visit.
The assignment brought up my fascinating, evocative, heart-breaking and inspiring visit. Below what I wrote. Remember that this is aimed at the travel industry, but the basic information is useful for travelers too:
The Holy Land is arguably the most compelling, most intriguing, most captivating destination on the planet. Only in this timeless region is it possible to visit so many places from antiquity so conveniently close together. Churches, temples, amphitheaters, markets and ancient roads where prophets and pilgrims, legionnaires and traders walked draw today’s travelers into the distant past.
The best-known sites are on everyone’s list of must-sees and must-visits, but the Holy Land also offers many that are not so well known or visited – ones that can set your tour offerings above the rest. Key members of the Holy Land Incoming Tour Operators Association can provide first-hand information about off-the-beaten-path places and memorable activities to enhance your Holy Land offerings or create new ones. By going above and beyond the usual offerings, your company truly can provide your clients with the proverbial “trip of a lifetime.”
Ask about the best parts of Abraham’s Path, the most the famous long-distance walking route in the Middle East. Learn about the archeological resources in Jericho, at more than 10,000 years, the oldest city Earth. Find out where the best markets are for local handicrafts, where to ride a camel and where to camp in the desert.