At Christmas, Bethlehem says denied full gifts of tourism

Christian tourists visit the Church of the Nativity in the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem on December 23, 2019. PHOTO | AFP

What you need to know:

  • While Bethlehem's 50-odd hotels are fully booked during the peak season around Christmas Day, they struggle to ensure occupancy rates throughout the year
  • Palestinians accuse Israeli tour companies of seeking to undermine their business by organising only fleeting visits
  • Beyond those looking for religion, Bethlehem is increasingly drawing tourists attracted to the street art

Less than an hour after a group of Indian tourists arrive at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, they exit smiling, directly board their bus and head back to Jerusalem.

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