Submit Press release  ∑ eTN Team ·  Advertising  ·  eTN Awards  - Worldtourism Events    

Gaza tourism industry struggles

Israeli blockade strangles Gaza tourism

Dec 26, 2010

Once tourism contributed a lot to employment and in the Gaza strip and was a good source of hard currency.

But after Israel and Egypt tightened the already imposed siege on the territory in June 2007, few people, except those on humanitarian or political missions, have been allowed to visit Gaza.

The tourism industry was hit hard following the Second Intifada in 2000, though it had partially recovered before the siege was.

Currently there are 10 hotels in the Gaza city, but receive no visitors outside of the territory. According to the central bureau of statistics, the number of foreign visitors to Gaza in 2010 was only 0.3% of that prior to 2007.

The warm climate of the Gaza Strip, its 75 km of coastline and its archeological sites make it ideal in principle for foreign tourism, which could provide a basis for the economy of Gaza.

The siege has affected the sector in more than one way. Due to lack of treatment facilities most of Gaza swage is discharged in to the sea making the beaches in too polluted and not safe for swimming.

Before the imposition of the siege, about 5000 visitors from outside Gaza used to come and stay in these hotels every week, but now almost no one checks in.

Hotel owners say that they cannot afford to pay the salaries of their employees whose number has dropped from 1800 to only 600 or even to refurbish their hotels.

Only a very small number of international visitors mainly those working for international agencies have been allowed to enter Gaza via the Israeli controlled Erez crossing in northern Gaza strip.

Israeli blockade strangles Gaza tourism
Gaza City beach / Image via


Premium Partners