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April 22, 2024

Israel’s tourism sector to exceed $7.5bn revenue with new holy sites

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By Lizzy Okoji

Israel is set to exceed the 2022 four billion dollars revenue and  pre-COVID-19 revenue of seven billion dollars from its tourism sector with more excavations ongoing to discover new holy sites.

The Tour Guide in the City of David, Jerusalem, Ms Shira Allen, made this known while escorting some Nigerian journalists on a tour of Israel through some holy sites.

A statistic from the Israel’s Foreign Ministry made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed that before the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel made approximately 7.5 billion dollars from tourists and pilgrims.

The revenue from tourism declined to 2.6 billion dollars in 2020, 2.2 billion dollars in 2021, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However in 2022, revenue from tourism increased to four billion dollars because Jerusalem has started receiving more visitors in post-COVID-19.

Allen said that the tourism sector was set for a boost to start receiving more than its one million visitors before the COVID-19.

He added that with five excavations currently ongoing, more holy sites would be discovered.

“We are receiving many visitors now. Up until the year 2019 before COVID-19, we had reached one million visitors to the site in a year, which is incredible, until COVID came but now we are picking up.

“I do not know if we are back to the one million visitors a year, the crowd continues growing based on the artefacts and new discoveries.

“This is a place where people from around the world, Jews, Christian and Muslims come to feel connected to the original Jerusalem, the city of David, where Jerusalem began over 3,000 years ago,” .

“There are many different discoveries made, discoveries that are connecting to show that the Bible happened here from thousands year ago.

“Tourism is one of the main sources of income for Israel, there is education; people come to learn here; many thousand of students from across the world.

“There are currently five active excavations right now in the city of David, and there will still be more.

“There are more excavations going on on the hills in Jerusalem and the most recent one which was just released a week ago is the Pool of Siloam can be seen in John Chapter 9.

“And that pool is going to be revealed to the world very soon for Christians to come and see. We are going back 2,000, 3,000 years to that original heritage that we learned about in the Bible.

“This is reality, we can physically see and touch it, and it becomes not only a matter of faith but reality,” Allen said.

Other Pilgrimage Sites in the City of David are the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Sepulcher, where Jesus was said to be crucified and buried in the Christian quarters of the Temple Mount in the City of David.

Christians from across the world come to these sites to drop all their prayers with faith that they will be answered.

Sharon Bar-Li, Deputy Director-General, African Department, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that with the Israel-Nigeria direct flight set to commence in March, there would be more influx of pilgrims from Nigeria to Israel.

“We will see pilgrimage influx; Nigeria is a very religious country and do not forget that Israel and Jerusalem are sacred places for free regions.

“Not just to Christianity, not just to Judaism, also to Islam where people come to Al-Aqsa mount to do little hajj,” Bar-Li said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)


Edited by Grace Yussuf

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