Palestinian Authority Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Dr. Khouloud Daibes, said the preparations for this Christmas were carried out via a joint effort between different institutions and bodies under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
She stressed that despite the continuing obstacles posed by the Israeli occupation there are "great will and determination" to celebrate Christmas. She added the tourist activity has increased this year with the approaching Christmas, compared with last year, noting that they expect by the end of this year that the number of tourists and visitors will reach 2 million.
Daibes pointed out that the recent statistics indicate an increase of 40% in the number of tourist nights compared to the previous year. These 1.4 million overnight stays were distributed as follows: 35% from the European Union, 26% from eastern Europe, 11% from North America, 10% from 1948 territories and 18% from other countries.
And she said: "The statistics indicate that the distribution of tourists to the provinces is as follows: 32% of them come to Jerusalem, 26% to Bethlehem, 19% to Jericho, and 21% to other provinces.