Sunday, 8 March 2009
Israeli paper Haaretz today said that the upcoming visit of the Pope will bring $60 million in revenues to the tourism industry, which, like tourism industries around the world, is feeling the bite of the economic crisis.
When the last Pope, Pope John Paul II visited in March 2000 a huge increase in tourism to Israel followed.
Some 40,000 pilgrims and tourists are expected during the week of the Pope's visit which is between May 8 to 15. Hotels in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Tiberias, Tel Aviv and at the Dead Sea are expected to be full for most of the visit. The main mass to be celebrated by the Pope will be held in Nazareth, the Vatican announced recently, though Haifa had been hoping to win the honor.