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PIRT request the blessing and endorsement of the His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

It gives us Palestinians great happiness that you have decided to be in our midst. We especially note your...

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Code of conduct in the holy land

We believe that the Code of Conduct for Tourism in the Holy Land is a unique document as it shows ways for change from the outside and from the inside.

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behind the scenes


Origin of the project


Building on their experience in addressing the downside of leisure activities for countries in the South and in promoting a different tourism in Palestine and the Golan Heights, three non-governmental organisations launched a new project to focus on the traditional meaning of pilgrimage. The three organisations, the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism, Golan for Development and the Alternative Tourism Group, invited pilgrimage and tourism experts to an international working seminar in Alexandria/Egypt in 2005 to discuss how Justice Tourism can be promoted among faith-based groups and social movements.


Justice Tourism seeks to promote a tourism which has an ethical foundation and a spiritual orientation and which takes into consideration the human dignity. In this form, tourism allows people to live and experience their ideals, such as people encountering people as equals, cultures and religions in dialogue, rediscovering and learning history, celebrating discovery of the unknown, and sharing the fruits of progress between and among peoples. Thus, Justice Tourism can be a key instrument in transforming tourism activities into positive experiences for both visitors and hosts and in developing a positive image of Palestine internationally. It can become an essential element in preserving and enhancing cultural and national heritage and spirit


The international seminar in Alexandria resulted in the creation of an international support group for the project. The members of the newly founded support group formulated strategies to develop the idea of pilgrimage and Justice Tourism in several dimensions and to promote it among various target groups.


Their Palestinian partner, the Alternative Tourism Group, returned to Palestine with the new ideas and their support. Through consultations, ATG managed to mobilise more tourism stakeholders for the transformation of current tourism patterns and to build up a local network which later developed into the Palestinian Initiative for Responsible Tourism (PIRT).



Why a Code of Conduct?


Today's Holy Land tourism is organised mainly by tour operators in Israel; Palestinian services providers and host communities are marginalised and are struggling hard to take part in the tourism activities. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to make the Palestinian voices heard, to let Palestinians reach out to the tourists and to enable an encounter between them on a human level.


The historical and holy sites are found both in Israel and the Palestinian territories and cannot be separated. We therefore urge tourists to visit both Israel and Palestine and to experience the situation themselves. This will help them to understand the context in which tourism takes place nowadays and leads to more fairness and justice.


The Code of Conduct can serve as a tool to put Palestine back on the tourism map. We believe that it can serve as an excellent tool to explain and address the challenges in the tourism sector.



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