We, Mr. Gideon Ezra, the Israeli Minister of Tourism and Mr. Mitri Abu Aita,
the Palestinian Minister of Tourism & Antiquities after we met today, would like
to announce the following:
Believing that tourism is not only a major economic force, and an important
tool for nations' prosperity, but also a means of bringing peace and building
bridges of confidence between peoples of the Middle East, the Israeli Ministry
of Tourism and the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities would like to
take the opportunity of the Christmas celebrations to announce that both
Ministries will cooperate in promoting tourism to the Holy Land in international
markets, will take effective measures to assure the safe and smooth passage of
pilgrims and tourists visiting the Israeli and Palestinian areas, and will
provide the appropriate atmosphere for the private sector in both sides in terms
of traffic to assure the best services for tourists and pilgrims to the Holy
We very much appreciate the address of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the
General Assembly of the Italian bishops calling upon them to organize
pilgrimages to the Holy Land.
We call upon all tourist entities and Christian communities all over the world
to start organizing tours to the Holy Land.
We are waiting for you and looking forward to welcoming you in the Holy Land.
Mitri Abu Aita
Israeli Minister of Tourism Palestinian Minister
24 November, 2004