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PCBS: Marked increase in West Bank tourism in 2010
Published Monday 26/09/2011 (updated) 02/10/2011 22:31
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Christian pilgrims light candles as they pay a visit to the Church of the
Nativity the alleged birth place of Jesus Christ a day before the Christmas
celebrations in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.(MaanImages/Luay Sababa)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released figures on Monday which show a marked increase in tourism to the West Bank during 2010.

In 2010, 4.6 million people visited the West Bank, compared to 2.6 million in 2009.

Of that number, 2.2 million were foreign tourists while 2.7 million were domestic visitors, according to PCBS.

Foreign tourism centered on the Bethlehem district with 1.1 million visitors, and the Jericho and al-Aghwar district, with just under a million visitors.

In 2010, the districts of Nablus and Jenin were those most visited by domestic tourists, with 21 percent and 19 percent of tourists respectively.

In the first half of 2011, there were 264,000 hotel guests in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The majority, 42 percent, stayed in Jerusalem hotels with 40 percent staying in the southern West Bank. Only 1 percent stayed in Gaza hotels.

Over 12 percent were Palestinian and 34 percent were from the European Union. Tourists from the European Union formed the largest group of visitors to the West Bank, according to PCBS.
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