Christian pilgrims
Photo: Government Press Office
Photo: AP
Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
Photo: AP
60,000 pilgrims to arrive in Israel for Christmas
Number of Christian tourists expected to visit holy places during holiday 50% higher than 2006
Some 60,000 Christian pilgrims are expected to arrive in Israel for the Christmas holiday, the Tourism Ministry reported Tuesday. This is an estimated 50% increase compared to last year.


Until the end of the year, about 1 million Christian tourists are expected to visit the country, half of them pilgrims. This figure represents a 30% increase compared to 2006.


The Israeli and Palestinian Tourism Ministries, as well as the Israel police are currently investing efforts in facilitating the smooth and easy passage of the pilgrims from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and Nazareth.


Additionally, in light of the large number of tourists scheduled to arrive in Israel through the Ben Gurion Airport, and the Taba and Allenby crossings, the Tourism Ministry in cooperation with the Israel Airports Authority are working to make sure that entry into the country is made simple for travelers.


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