Throughout its turbulent history, the Palestinian tourism industry has been faced with many obstacles and hurdles that hindered its grow th and development. Since the Israeli occupation of 1967 , the Israeli tourism industry has flourished, in many cases through the exploitation of Palestinian sites, while the Palestinian sector has been faced with unfair competition and an oppressive military occupation. Nevertheless, between 1994 and 2000, an estimated USD 700 million was invested into the sector to develop infrastructure (hotels, restaurants etc.) and preserve heritage sites across Palestine.
Following a near collapse of the industry during the second intifada (2000 - 2005) , the sector gradually recovered , again demonstrating the resilience of the private sector through an influx of fr esh investment . Despite the proactive investment in tourism across Palestine, the sector remains strangled by the loss of land, lack of control over borders and restrictions on movement.
These obstacles make long term planning impossible. More than simply marginalizing the Palestinian tourist industry , Israeli colonization policies, including the illegal Wall and settlement regime, have all but completely severed the Holy and historic cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem from one another.
|The occupation's falsified tourist map|