Portugal to Push ‘Palestine’ as Independent Tourist Destination

June 16, 2015  

Just six month since Portugal’s parliament voted to recognize the Palestinian Authority as an independent “State of Palestine,” the Portuguese government is set to launch a new drive aimed at promoting “Palestine” as an independent tourism destination – despite it not being a legal state or having any defined borders.

Portuguese Tourism Minister Adolfo Mesquita Nunes told the Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency that tourism companies in his country would “vamp up” marketing “Palestine” as a tourism destination.

Nunes said he would be personally “recommending Portuguese people to visit Palestine,” including the thousands of Portuguese Christian pilgrims who visit Israel – including Christian sites in Bethlehem and elsewhere. 

The minister hopes that by doing so, Lisbon could gain from reciprocal tourism from Palestinians.

He has an uphill battle though, considering just 20 Palestinian Arabs visited Portugal in 2014.

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