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3.1m tourists visit West Bank in 6 months

Participants run past the the Walled-Off Hotel, Banksy's newly opened hotel in Bethlehem, West Bank on March 31, 2017. [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Participants run past the the Walled-Off Hotel, Banksy's newly opened hotel in Bethlehem, West Bank on March 31, 2017. [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

More than 3.1 million people visited tourist sites in the occupied West Bank in the first half of 2018, data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) has shown.

Marking World Tourism Day yesterday, the ministry said 1.48 million tourists came from abroad while 1.65 million were local.

The number of international visitors increased by 5.8 per cent compared to the first half of 2017.

Palestinians residing in Israel accounted for the largest proportion of inbound visitors at 47 per cent with 694,000 visits, followed by arrivals from the United States at seven per cent with 110,000 visits, Russia at seven per cent with 106,000 visits, Poland at four per cent with 52,000 visits and Romania at three per cent with 44,000 visits.

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The figures do not take in to account tourists who visited the besieged Gaza Strip or occupied Jerusalem.

The report added that the number of hotel guests in the West Bank reached 301,422 in the first half of 2018; they spent 893,890 nights in the occupied territory. When compared with the first half of 2016 and the first half of 2017, the number of guests increased by 55.6 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.

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