Palestine tops UN list of fastest-growing tourist destinations

Palestine recorded the most dramatic rise in tourism in the first half of 2017, according to data published by the UN World Tourism Organization.

Topping the list was Palestine. The UNWTO says Palestine registered a whopping 57.8 percent increase in the number of foreign tourists during the first six months of the year. If this rate of growth keeps up, Palestine could finish the year with 630,000 tourists.

British daily The Telegraph attributes the jump in tourism to Palestine to the well-publicized opening of the Walled Off Hotel, a hotel started by the artist Banksy in Bethlehem. Though small and expensive, the hotel apparently raised awareness in Europe about the option of visiting the West Bank.

Nevertheless, it’s important to stress that many of these countries are still far from making the list of the world’s most popular destinations; they are merely the 10 that experienced the fastest growth compared to the same period last year.