New holy sites

Israel is set to exceed the 2022 $4 billion revenue and pre-COVID-19 revenue of $7 billion from its tourism sector with more excavations ongoing to discover new holy sites.

The Tour Guide in the City of David, Jerusalem, Shira Allen, made this known while escorting some Nigerian journalists on a tour of Israel through some holy sites.

A statistic from Isreal’s Foreign Ministry made available to newsmen revealed that before the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel made approximately $7.5 billion from tourists and pilgrims.

The revenue from tourism declined to $2.6 billion in 2020, $2.2 billion in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, in 2022, revenue from tourism increased to $4 billion because Jerusalem has started receiving more visitors in post-COVID-19.

Allen said the tourism sector was set for a boost to start receiving more than its one million visitors before the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that with five excavations currently ongoing, more holy sites would be discovered.

“We are receiving many visitors now. Up until the year 2019 before COVID-19, we had reached one million visitors to the site in a year, which is incredible, until COVID came but now we are picking up.

“I do not know if we are back to the one million visitors a year, the crowd continues growing based on the artefacts and new discoveries.

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“This is a place where people from around the world, Jews, Christians, and Muslims come to feel connected to the original Jerusalem, the city of David, where Jerusalem began over 3,000 years ago.

“There are many different discoveries made, discoveries that are connecting to show that the Bible happened here thousands of years ago.

“Tourism is one of the main sources of income for Isreal, there is education; people come to learn here; many thousands of students from across the world.

“There are currently five active excavations right now in the city of David, and there will still be more.

“There are more excavations going on on the hills in Jerusalem and the most recent one which was just released a week ago is the Pool of Sylom can be seen in John Chapter 9.

“And that pool is going to be revealed to the world very soon for Christians to come and see. We are going back 2,000, 3,000 years to that original heritage that we learned about in the Bible.

“This is reality, we can physically see and touch it, and it becomes not only a matter of faith but reality,” Allen said.

Other Pilgrimage Sites in the City of David are the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Sepulchre, where Jesus was said to be crucified and buried in the Christian quarters of the Temple Mount in the City of David.

Christians from across the world come to these sites to drop all their prayers with faith that they will be answered.

The Deputy Director-General, African Department, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sharon Bar-Li, said with the Israel-Nigeria direct flight set to commence in March, there would be more influx of pilgrims from Nigeria to Israel.

“We will see pilgrimage influx; Nigeria is a very religious country and does not forget that Israel and Jerusalem is a sacred place for free regions.

“Not just to Christianity, not just to Judaism, also to Islam where people come to Al-Aqsa mount to do little hajj,” Bar-Li said.

The Star



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