Israel’s Heartland – The Untapped Gold Mine of Tourism
When HaYovel first came to Israel fifteen years ago, tourism attracted very few people to Judea and Samaria. Despite the fact that more than 80% of the Bible was written in, or occurred in the heartland, Christians were so misinformed, that there was zero to little interest in coming here. The heartland itself was not ready to accommodate tourists either. There were very few tourist sites, restaurants, facilities, and all of the typical things that attract the tourism industry. Hardly any tours ventured inside the place that the world calls the West Bank.
Today, however, all of this is shifting. Since I first started coming to Israel eleven years ago, I have seen a dramatic change. While one cannot say that tourism is booming in the heartland, it is definitely growing by leaps and bounds. Nearly every week, HaYovel hosts individuals and groups on the Mt of Blessing. They come to see the biblical Mt Gerizim, hear the story about the prophetic vineyards, and take in the incredible views. Just this week alone, we have hosted nearly ten groups at our base on the Mt of Blessing.
There is a story that is receiving little attention in the news recently that has the potential to change the face of tourism in Judea and Samaria. Former mayor of Jerusalem and current Knesset Member Nir Barkat has put together a plan to attract Christians who are visiting Israel to include the biblical heartland in their itineraries. . .