Israel targets US Christians in biblical excavations tourist plan

A tourist initiative launched by the Tourism Ministry will see Christian tourists take part in archaeological excavations across Israel.

 CITY OF David excavation area where evidence of the biblical earthquake was uncovered. (photo credit: ORTAL CHALAF/IAA)
CITY OF David excavation area where evidence of the biblical earthquake was uncovered.
(photo credit: ORTAL CHALAF/IAA)

Christian tourists from the United States will be able to take part in biblical archaeological excavation across Israel as part of a new initiative by the Tourism Ministry announced this week.

In addition to excavations, the tourist package will also include tours and expert lectures, with the aim of allowing bible enthusiasts to "take an active part in the historical story of the Jewish people."

It will launch in April of next year, ahead of Israel's 75th Independence Day.

The program is headed by the ministry along with travel agencies EO Tours and Sar-El Tours and in partnership with the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

 A GENERAL view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City last year.  (credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS) A GENERAL view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City last year. (credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

Razbozov aims to improve Israel's image through biblical attractions

"Our wonderful history in this land attracts many tourists, people who love Israel, who want to discover with their own hands the hidden treasures we have here," Tourism Minister Yoel Razbozov said.

"In addition, a visit of Christians that combines archeology, conservation and assistance in uncovering findings related to the biblical legacy of the State of Israel will improve Israel’s image overseas and spread the legacy of the People of the Book to the Christian world.

"Strengthening the relationship between Christians who love Israel through incoming tourism also helps support Israel’s economy," the minister noted.