Papal visit set for next May

The visit to Israel by Pope Benedict XVI is no longer a matter of speculation. The pope will visit Israel in the second week of May 2009. A papal delegation met this week with Foreign Ministry representatives to map out preliminary details of the visit. The pope was invited to visit Israel by President Shimon Peres during the latter's visit to Rome earlier this year. The Tourism Ministry expects a large influx of tourists at around the same time as the papal visit and in the months that follow.