Statement below from AITO following the FCO’s recent restriction on travel to Bethlehem being lifted last Friday:
AITO’s three main specialist Pilgrimage operators, Tangney Tours, Pax Travel and McCabe Travel, have all been on high alert due to the recent restriction on travel that the FCO placed on Bethlehem. AITO has been in constant contact with the FCO over the past week, and was delighted when the restriction was finally lifted last Friday evening (8th August).
John Tangney (Tangney Tours) is in Bethlehem at present, to meet with the Palestinian Minister of Tourism, Her Excellency Mme Rula Ma’Ayah. He wanted to ask her directly about the safety and security of bringing Pilgrims and other tourists to Palestine, and especially to those prime Holy places such as Bethlehem and Jericho. John has also visited Bethlehem University, a Christian-based institution, where he was welcomed by George Rishmawi and Dimitrious Awad, both of whom are responsible for the University’s public relations. John will also be meeting the mayor of Bethlehem this week, and is keeping AITO and fellow Pilgrimage operator colleagues fully apprised of the outcome of all his discussions, which have so far been very positive.
AITO hopes that its lobbying in this respect, combined with John’s sterling efforts on the ground, will benefit all travel companies (both AITO and non-AITO) offering Pilgrimage tours to the Holy Land.