Those interested in domestic tourism recommend repairs for a number of tourist trails, and to raise the capabilities of workers in ecotourism
Bethlehem -The Arab Tourist Guides Union and the Mahmiyat.ps website hosted a workshop on field tours and tourist trails. The participants recommended the need to intensify efforts to rehabilitate a number of tourist trails. They also would like to raise the capabilities of tour guides, and to enhance the role of tourism and the environmental police in natural and tourism areas. Additionally, they want to enforce restraining laws to protect areas, and to give instructions for appropriate disposal of waste.
The workshop, which was held in Bethlehem, was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, tour guides and those interested in the field of domestic and environmental tourism. The goal was to discuss and evaluate field tours in nature reserves and museums of natural and cultural heritage.
The participants used the new book, Palestine, a Colored Mosaic – a Guide for Trails. The book was recently released through the Mahmiyat.ps project in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Environmental Quality Authority. All was done with the generous support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The book is a Palestinian reference source and approved as a guidebook for various tourist trails.
In turn, the Resident Representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, Ms. Julia Obermeier, praised the efforts made by all parties. All of those present were promoting concepts of ecotourism, spreading awareness of the importance of domestic tourism and identifying ecotourism destinations. Ms. Obermeier noted that the book, Palestine, a Colorful Mosaic – a Guide for Trails, follows the project's aspirations to enhance the reality of domestic tourism, including environmental tourism.
The head of the Arab Tourist Guides Union, George Stephan, stressed that the union is striving to enhance cooperation and joint work with all relevant authorities. The aim is to advance the domestic tourism sector (especially encompassing rural and environmental issues), and to enhance the capabilities of its workers.
The Executive Director of the Palestinian Society for Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr. Saed Shomaly, presented an introduction to some tourist trails in the West Bank.
The workshop dealt with various topics concerning tourist trails. Also discussed were experiences in the field, how to develop the trails further, and how to promote sustainable goals.
In the past two years the Arab Tourist Guide Union and Mahmiyat.ps carried out twelve field tours. The areas included in those tours were both in nature reserves and museums of natural and cultural heritage, including: Wadi Qelt, Wadi Qana, al-Quff, Wadi Zarqa Elwi, Wadi Janata, Sortaba, al-Fawar, Umm al-Tut, Battir, Wadi al-Makkuk, and historical Solomon's Pools.