On 13th July in Bethlehem the joint venture of Keios and Thinking Consulting (Palestine) has held a visioning workshop “Towards a Sustainable Tourism and Visitor Economy Strategy for the Bethlehem Urban Area”.

The workshop was attended by the mayors of the cities and villages that compose the Bethlehem Urban Areas, representatives of the private sector, of the Ministry of Tourism, of the Ministry of Local Government and of the World Bank. It was facilitated by Christian Zaknoun and the keynote presentation was given by Simon Woodward.

This visioning workshop is a key milestone of our assignment to develop a “Sustainable Tourism and Visitor Economy Development Plan for the Bethlehem Urban Area” in the framework of the Palestine Integrated Cities and Urban Development Project funded by the World Bank.

The outcomes show a strong convergence of stakeholders on a vision of development largely based on opening of Bethlehem to alternative markets, beyond the traditional pilgrimage as well as a focus on sustainability of tourism development.