Package tourism’s contribution to the illegal settlement economy in Israeli occupied territories

Package holidays make up about a third of incoming tourism to Israel, according to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism — a booming industry that brought 4.55 million visitors in 2019 alone. The vast majority of package tours include locations beyond Israel’s internationally recognised borders, such as Jerusalem’s Old City, as well as archaeological sites in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). Many tours also include stops at sites that are part of Israel’s illegal settlements in the OPT and occupied Golan, and administered by the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority. Such tours are therefore part of the broader settlement enterprise, the maintenance of which entails some of the most serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law as well as the right to self-determination of people and the prohibition on the use of force to acquire territory.

This report profiles nine industry leaders in the package tourism sector who contribute to and benefit from the maintenance of Israel’s illicit settlements economy in the occupied Palestinian territory. The report also sheds light on similar practices in the occupied Syrian Golan.

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