Judea and Samaria embrace smartphone tourism
1000s of visitors expected to enjoy ancient and natural sites can take advantage of mobile, multimedia materials.
A woman uses her iPhone 4 for Web surfing Photo: REUTERS/Truth Leem
Visitors to Judea and Samaria should bring their smartphones along with bottles
of water, if they want to learn about the biblical sites that dot Route
Thanks to a program of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea,
Samaria and the Gaza Strip, new signs have been placed at selected spots along
the highway, known as the Path of the Patriarchs.
Signs have also been
posted at archeological sites in the settlements of Elon Moreh, Susisya and
Shiloh as well as in Hebron and by the Lone Tree in Gush Etzion.
sign has a bar code that can activate smartphones, whose users have downloaded
the free app Scanlife.
Once activated, smartphone owners can view videos
describing the sites.
One can learn that in of spite of Susiya's desert
location, in ancient times there were 40 ritual baths or that one can still draw
water from a stone well at the site.
In Susiya, archeologists have also
uncovered 100 underground living spaces, according to the video.
signs with the bar codes were posted in advance of the hundreds of thousands of
tourists who are expected to visit some 100 historical and natural sites in the
West Bank over Succot, said Yigal Dilmoni, the council's deputy
There is a growing interest in tourist sites in Judea and
Samaria, he said. Last year half a million people toured the region, he
“The path of the patriarchs along Route 60 connects important
heritage sites that are important to the nation of Israel, and weaves throughout
the story of every Jew,” Dilmoni said.
“The council intends to introduce
the general public to this historic narrative of all the sites and their
connection to the path of the patriarchs, in a new method that is attractive to
the younger generation,” he said.
He continues, “Integrating YouTube
videos along with technology that can be found on smartphones, transforms their
visit in a pleasant and innovative way,” Dilmoni said.
technological facelift, most of the tourist events this Succot will not take
place in cyberspace.
From Tuesday through Friday, from Mount Grizin in
Samaria to wineries in Gush Etzion, visitors can enjoy musical festivals, street
theater, guided walks, jeep tours and arts and crafts.
group Mishkefet, created last year by the council, has already organized 90
tourist buses from major cities across Israel for Succot, most of which are
already booked, its director Benny Cohen said.