Palestinian Authority Tops UN List of Fastest-growing Tourist Destinations

Israel and the Palestinian Authority were two of the places with the most dramatic rise in tourism in the first half of 2017, according to data published by the UN World Tourism Organization.

Topping the list was Palestine, as the PA is called in UN publications. The UNWTO says Palestine registered a whopping 57.8 percent increase in the number of foreign tourists during the first six months of the year. If this rate of growth keeps up, the PA could finish the year with 630,000 tourists. Israel snags 10th spot on list.

The Telegraph, the British daily that published the list, attributes the jump in tourism to the PA to the well-publicized opening of the Walled Off Hotel, a hotel started by the artist Banksy in Bethlehem. Though small and expensive, the hotel apparently raised awareness in Europe about the option of visiting the West Bank.

The UNWTO says Palestine registered a whopping 57.8 percent increase in the number of foreign tourists during the first six months of the year. If this rate of growth keeps up, the PA could finish the year with 630,000 tourists.
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