Watch – Bethlehem tourism industry hits busy season

Bethlehem stands tall in the West Bank as a symbol of beauty, history and as a place revered throughout time by Christians, Muslims and the Jewish community, giving it a unique advantage in the lead up to the Christmas period.

With the Custodian of the Holy Land — the official representative of the Pope — visiting the area for Mass recently and Advent starting on December 2, local people will be hoping that Bethlehem – the birthplace of Jesus Christ — will bring in visitors from across the world to help boost the local economy.

Although nearly 2 million people have visited the Palestinian Territories this year, tourism makes up just 13 per cent of Palestinian GDP, an extremely low figure given their geography and history, which may be tempered further by the recent Gaza conflict, which led to rockets being fired towards Tel Aviv and nearby Jerusalem, potentially putting off visitors to the ancient city.