During peaceful times in the region, Israel-Palestinian tourism saw returns of a combined average of $5 billion per year. But ongoing violence has many locals fearing a recession may be ahead.
Jerusalem’s old city is a prime example of the effect of the conflict. It was a mecca of tourism normally packed with tourists, but now it’s the heart of the conflict.
Conflict drives customers away. Tourist shuttles have no passages and vendors have to close their stores early in the day as nobody appears in the street.
The same thing that compels tourists is also driving the current flare up, and that is the religious sites. The tension is over control of those sites and the issues of encroachment.
Local economists said that during the last drawn-out conflict between the sides at the start of the century, combined economies slowed down by seven percent.
CCTV’S Stephanie Freid reports from Jerusalem’s old city.