Tourism without Borders
Tourism has a special role to play in contributing to Israeli-Palestinian economic development and cross-border cooperation, as it is one of the few sectors which are distinctly non-zero-sum: the Palestinian and Israeli tourism industries are confronted with common obstacles, which in turn, prompt mutual goals and incentives for cooperation.
Furthermore, there is a sharp disconnect between the lack of political coordination between the respective governments, on the one hand, and the lack of cooperation of the actual business and marketing operations of industry representatives, on the other, which severely harms both the marketability and profitability of Israel and Palestine as attractive tourist destinations. As a result of barriers in information, lack of logistical coordination, and shortcomings in business cooperation, tourists visiting Israel or the Palestinian Authority are generally exposed to one narrative only. This phenomenon of ‘unilateral tourism’ creates a vicious cycle of one-sided narratives, stereotypes, etc.
Although tourism is, in many respects, contingent on the volatile political situation, there are a few “on the ground” issues which can be tackled jointly today, and which can bring concrete outcomes tomorrow.
This project, initiated by SAYA and funded by the Peres Center for Peace is a unique attempt to create an alternative tourism experience, created jointly by Israelis and Palestinians, and supported jointly by locals, tourists and tourism professionals. It will provide maps, tourist routes, a GIS-based mobil app for tourists, allowing them a richer and more fulfilling experience when traveling to the region; in short, a more whole experience. In turn, their increased travel between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will directly contribute to economic growth and encourage cooperation between both industry representatives and the respective populations.
a unique attempt to create an alternative tourism experience, created jointly by Israelis and Palestinians, and supported jointly by locals, tourists and tourism professionals.
Project: An alternative tourism experience to Israel and Palestine; maps, tourist routes and a GIS-based mobil app for tourists
Status: In progress, 2011
Client: the Peres Center for Peace
Design: SAYA – Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, Yehuda Greenfield-Gilat, Chen Farkas with Harel Schreiber