Just the Facts: Tourism and Pilgrimage


  • Has full control over who can visit Palestine and restricts access of tourists to the occupied territory.
  • Uses tourism to justify its position as an occupying power.
  • Uses tourism to disseminate propaganda, spreading an official Israeli narrative.
  • Omits Palestinian history and hides Arabic/Palestinian place names from parks, tours, and other materials.
  • Keeps visitors from having contact with Palestinian communities.
  • Has “annexed” tourism and pilgrimage sites controlled by Palestinians.
  • Grants preferential treatment to Israeli tour companies over Palestinian ones and denies permits to Palestinian tour guides and for the construction of tourism infrastructure including transportation systems and building.
  • Costs Palestinian businesses and the government billions annually in lost revenue.

This week’s Just the Facts comes from:

These facts are drawn from Alternative Tourism Group’s Alternative Tourism Journal, particularly “Tourism & Media”, “Conflict Between 2 Narratives”, “Palestinian Cultural Heritage in Israel” and “Staged Authenticity”.

Learning More

You can start by reading “Tourism in Service of Occupation and Annexation” by Halah Ahmad for Al-Shabaka. ​To go deeper, we are developing an extensive list of Additional Resources at the bottom of this week’s entry as well as a YouTube playlist on the subject.