.- According to data released by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, more than one million people have visited the Holy Land so far this year, resulting in a 93% increase over visits during 2004.
The report indicates the cities of Jerusalem, Tiberius, Nazareth, Haifa, and St. John of Acre as those most visited by the more than 11,000 Spanish pilgrims who travel to the country each year.
Among the holy places most visited include the Via Dolorosa, the Holy Sepulcher, the Mount of Olives, the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Mount of Beatitudes and the Sea of Galilee.
On various occasions, the Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabba, has encouraged bishops around the world to invite the faithful to visit the Holy Land and thus help the Christian community in the region, which is economically sustained by religious tourism.
Last October, in response to Patriarch’s invitation, the Bishops’ Conference of Spain organized a large pilgrimage, which resulted in a significant impulse for tourism in the Holy Land.