Abstract of Published work:
The aim of this study is to examine the factors which have impacts on the trends of hospitality and inbound tourist flows in West Bank (Palestine) in the period between 1996 and 2008. One of the most important factors that impact on the trends of hospitality in Palestine is the Israeli occupation, which receives little attention. The Israeli occupation with all its facets, the ongoing construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank, movement restrictions of Palestinians as well as tourists entering Palestine, hundreds of checkpoints, surprising checkpoints, settlers attacks on Palestinian towns and villages, and the segregation wall that was built on Palestinians’ land, using Israeli tourists guides are all have impacts on tourism industry in Palestine. The whole international flow of tourism is in the hands of Israeli authority, starting from visa issuing,, using Israeli guides and touring buses, and the whole structure of the tourism industry is within the state of Israel. These are all essential and important factors that impacts Palestinian tourism industry.Tourism and hospitality indicators in Palestinian land have been affected by alternate periods of economic,political and social changes. This paper uses hospitality and tourism indicators for Palestine and tourist arrivals
for West Bank (Palestine), and compared with those of Jordan and Israel. Time series and index number methods were employed to examine trends of such indicators. The findings show that hospitality and tourism indicators are highly affected by political and security conditions in the region and only just, comprehensive and last peace between Arab states and Israel will guarantee prosperous tourism in the region. This paper also addresses that political instability deters tourists from deciding to visit the region and consequently tourist activities will decline. In fact the political environment in Palestine is not the only determining factor in tourism indicators, but there are also factors such as global financial crises and political unrest in the Middle East. Public and private sectors should take into considerations the local, regional and political environments when designing their short and long tourism development plans. Furthermore, the study is one of the few that tackled hospitality and tourism indicators in the West Bank, Jordan and Israel.
Key Words: Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Tourism, Calm periods, Index Numbers.