Palestine has always been a destination for tourists from all over the world, since it is rich with culture and history that has been preserved for hundreds of years, starting from Jericho, oldest city in the world and lowest point on Earth, to Bethlehem, the nativity of Jesus Christ.
This rich culture was met with acknowledgement from all over the world, and Palestine has its own entity in tourism, with millions visiting it every year.
Recently, the tourism sector has celebrated new horizons of cooperation between Malta and Palestine.
With the support of the Embassy of Palestine in Malta, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Jubran Taweel, in November 2016, the Representative Office of the Republic of Malta in Palestine, with Representative Reuben Gauci, was responsible in bringing the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation to Palestine in order to organize a Conference on Tourism at the Bethlehem Peace Centre in Bethlehem.
This also produced the result of having the Chief Executive Officer of the said Foundation, Mr. Andrew Agius Muscat, visiting Palestine regularly since then.
Palestinian representative of the Malta Tourism Authority, Mona Khalilieh, said that there will be mutual programs for expanding the tourism between the two countries of Malta and Palestine.
“Malta is a beautiful country in terms of nature and sea, and it has distinct elements in terms of churches and historical places,” Khalilieh told PNN. ”
“Its prices are not too high, and visitors can enjoy the beauty and purity of its beaches on the Mediterranean Sea.”
On the identity and number of the population, Khaliliya said that the majority of the population is Catholic Christians, a population of 430,000 and two million tourists each year from all countries of the world.Tourism tourism constitutes a high proportion of national income, which amounted to 35% A rich country with ingredients
Malta is preparing to make its capital city of Valletta the capital of European culture in 2018, which will make it a wider and larger destination during the coming years and enable it to hold many different activities and events.
Khalilieh also pointed out that Maltese fairs are distinguished by high services. In Malta, there is also another important course, which includes various tours, noting that work is underway to strengthen cooperation possibilities with holding workshops to organize pilgrimage visits to historical and religious tourist sites in Malta and Palestine and vice versa.
As a representative of the Malta Tourism Authority, she carried out meetings with the Mayor of Bethlehem, Anton Salman and many other Palestinian officials, as well as representatives of the Edward Said Institute, as part of the efforts to launch a concert concert for the Mediterranean basin as part of the ongoing projects.
She said that the Maltese side sees music as a common language for the world and is a sound way to reach peace and stability among all the partner countries in the project. She explained that there is an effort to invite distinguished political figures Cultural and tourism industry in order to promote possibilities and promote joint tourism between Palestine and Malta.
Apart from promoting dialogue through the organisation of Forums across the region, the Foundation also runs the Mediterranean Institute for Tourism Studies and also acts as a catalyst to promote events that enhance the regional tourism product and experience.
In order to enhance possibilities of cooperation with Mediterranean countries, the Foundation also held meetings with the UNWTO and active leaders in the field of tourism in several countries including Arab countries.
In the end of her interview Khalilieh, said that she want to thanks all the personalities who are working to develop cooperation between Palestine and Malta Mr. Tony Zahra, MHRA President and Mediterranean Tourism Foundation , the board of governors of the MTF is chaired by Mr Tony Zahra, a prominent Maltese businessman, and other members include various important personalities from different countries of the Mediterranean.
She thank also Mr. Andrew Agius Muscat, MHRA CEO and Mediterranean Tourism Foundation Secretary General whom along with Mr. Zahra spearheaded the first Forum outside Malta in Palestine that took place on Nov 10th, 2016 in bethlehem.