The Jerusalem tourism sector is a centralized economic and cultural lever in the present and future of the city of Jerusalem. And because Jerusalem has been characterized throughout its long history with social, cultural, religious and ethnic pluralism, this diversity must be protected and benefited by tourism and cultural development.
The "Tourism and Palestinian Culture in Jerusalem: Unlimited Opportunities" conference intends to formulate tourism planning in the city as part of the Palestinian strategy to maximize the city's touristic social, cultural and economic impact. The conference aspires to cultivate an academic research methodology that delves into the reservoir of the Palestinian Jerusalem tourism competencies. It hopes to promote a coalition of strong academic, social, cultural and community based endeavors in the tourism industry, to explore international research in pertinent fields and to benefit from such efforts and outputs. This can be achieved through the exchange of knowledge on local and international levels. This also requires investing our research potential in the tourism industry field and presenting our point of view at an international level.
This conference offers a valuable opportunity to cultivate ideas and initiatives that may influence and affect the process of tourism development (economic / social / cultural) in the city. Accordingly, we look forward for a conference that is capable of achieving all of its desired objectives, not only by raising these issues locally and globally, but also by impacting the Palestinian tourism industry in the city in a realistic and practical way.
For this purpose we request that all papers be Jerusalem specific. The scientific committee of the conference has studied and has chosen the following two tracks for research and discussion and hopes that all contributors and participants adhere and respond to this call accordingly.
The First Track: The Jerusalem Tourism Industry Challenges in an unstable environment
This track addresses the challenges the Jerusalem tourism sector faces in light of changing and fluctuating unstable conditions, which often take place abruptly and dramatically. The Israeli tourism continues to overshadow the Palestinian tourism sector in Jerusalem and suffocates its identity and differentiation. Hence a series of questions arise and the need for research becomes imperative to form policies and to encourage investments.
1. Search for tourism stability in an unstable environment addressing the deprivation of Jerusalem from its hinterland and natural markets.
2. Tourism in light of the conflict; can we convert the challenges into elements of strength?
3. Investigating the policies and strategies necessary to establish an independent Palestinian Jerusalem tourism that can formulate the foundation for future development including the role of community organizations, education and investments.
4. Examining the challenges of tourism investments under unstable conditions.
The Second track: Identity of Jerusalem Tourism: Self Search and product development
Christian pilgrimage is by far the prevailing mode of tourism that attracts visitors to Jerusalem. The city also enjoys a marginal share of Islamic tourism, a potential area of growth. But Jerusalem is not only a holy place, it has multiple faces and several community partners that could be engaged in serving tourism development, compounding its benefits and circulating them wider among stakeholders and at large.
This track is based on re-exploring the place with its historical, cultural, architectural and human components through a Palestinian vision and intention to create a Jerusalem based Palestinian tourism that needs crystallization, accumulation of knowledge and development of competent resources and capacities. Some of what can be processed through studies, publications, deliberations and discussions are:
1. Re-defining Jerusalem Tourism: What distinguishes tourism in Jerusalem, and why should tourists stay in it and use its local services when they can go to the Israeli market?
2. Several Jerusalem distinctive competencies are often absent from the tourism offer:
The cultural scene in the city; people of all denominations; ethnic groups; food and drink; cultural, religious, and artistic activities and festivals.
3. Community Tourism: Investigating community and interpretation methods to advance the role of cultural and artistic civil society organizations, people and their homes and heritage, denominations and ethnic groups, churches and Sufi orders, networking among partners in the tourism sector, exploring common interests and ways to enhance supporting sectors.
1. Placing Palestinian Jerusalem tourism on the global scientific research map;
2. Building international and local partnerships to influence the development of tourism in a responsible manner;
3. Pairing tourism with various facets of the Palestinian cultural spectrum and expanding potential supporting community based partnerships and initiatives that are capable of contributing and enriching the tourism sector.
Jerusalem Tourism Cluster (JTC) is a nonprofit network that works among the various economic, cultural, religious, educational, and vocational sectors that are related directly or indirectly to tourism in Jerusalem