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Tourism business is booming in Holy Land after pandemic

After being restricted by the pandemic, Israeli tourism is back in business. Christians from around the world are flocking back to the Holy Land. In fact, metrovoicenews.com publishers Dwight and Anita Widaman led one of the first tours back to Israel in March 2022.

“It’s not like in the year of 2019, but it is so blessed,” Galilee Worship Boats Captain Daniel Carmel said. “Hallelujah! We have groups, and we have no complaints.”

Almost 300,000 tourists visited Israel in September.

CBN News joined Carmel and a group of more than 40 Brazilians, many of whom were making return trips to Israel. Sara Limasilverio from Sao Paulo first visited in 2008 as a 15-year-old.

“It feels amazing, and I was waiting for this moment,” she said. “Our trip changed like three or four times because of the pandemic. But now that we’re here, we’re enjoying every single moment. The presence of God, it’s so beautiful. And the joy of the Holy Spirit on us, it’s amazing.”

For two years Israel’s borders, virtually were closed to tourists, with few exceptions. But since all the restrictions were lifted in March, it’s as if the floodgates were opened, with visitors returning from all over the world. Adam Arbel from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism said visitors from the United States in July and August surpassed the 2019 totals for those months.

“Incoming tourism to Israel has steadily increased since we fully reopened our gates a few months ago,” he said. “Most of the tourists from the United States are evangelicals.”

That includes Passages, an organization that brings Christian university students to the Holy Land.

“It’s such an incredible experience and opportunity to be able to come to the Holy Land as a Christian and as a college student,” said Elizabeth Youssef from the University of North Carolina. “And it’s never something that I ever thought that I would have the opportunity to do, and it really has just been a lifechanging experience and being able to actually like, see the places that I’ve been reading about, like my entire life.”

By the end of 2022, Israel expects the year’s total number of visitors to reach about two and a half million, still down significantly from 2019 before the pandemic. As tourism continues to climb steadily each month, leaders are happy that the Holy Land is back on the global priority list.

“Thanks to the Abraham Accord agreements, we have new direct flights to new destinations, and we see many tourists, new tourists who will come to Israel from new countries, from new destinations and it’s wonderful,” Arbel said.

The Widamans are personally leading another tour to Israel at the end of April 2023. Anyone interested in getting more information can call 816-524-4522 or go to the trip page HERE.

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