Interview: Sunbird Travel and Tourism talks about the benefits of the Med Pearls for Palestine.
In this article we present an interview conducted by our partner in Palestine, Palestine Wildlife Society (PWS), to the awarded subgrantee in Palestine Sun Bird Travel and Tourism and its manager Mr Sami.
How did your participation with the Med Pearls project began?
Mr. Sami: During the past three years, from Sun Bird Travel and Tourism we've collaborated with the the development and implementation of the joint Med Pearls project in Palestine. This one was implemented by 6 country partners from the Mediterranean, and from this one we obtained a grant that was very welcomed to help us develop slow tourism products in the pilot areas of Jerusalem Wilderness area / Arab al-Rashaida, in the Bethlehem governorate:
Can you introduce us to Sun Bird Travel and Tourism?
Mr. Sami: The Company was established in 1999 by me and my family in the city of Beit Sahour. The company has contributed to the development and capabilities of the local community in Palestine in the field of tourism, as well as national and international travel. Being residents of the region, we opened our office in Bethlehem, a world-wide important destination of pilgrimage since Christ was born in Bethlehem, and where there are many interesting historical, religious, archaeological and natural attraction. For example, Al-Quilt is a great place to get acquainted with the most important natural and historical areas of the governorates of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, with their sites of Christian history that attract intrepid travellers. Currently, thanks to the Med Pearls project, we are working in the creation of 12 slow tourism products supported by the European Union.
Are the results obtained as you expected before starting the project?
Mr. Sami: In fact, no. The return was more positive and greater than our initial expectations. The idea expanded from eco-tourism to slow tourism. It was difficult at first, but now our audience is familiar with the pilot areas in Arab al-Rashaida (the target area) and we've been able to promote its cultural and natural heritage, as well as its biodiversity and food. Furthermore, the Bedouin culture and Christian archaeological monuments are gaining recognition. It is important to note that this region is also important in term of bird-watching. It is an area that holds global migration of birds from Europe to Africa and vice versa, in the autumn and spring throughout the year
Thank you, Mr. Sami, and we hope that this project, in addition to the Palestinian community, will be a unique concept
Find out more about Sun Bird Travel & Tours on the following website: https://sunbirdpal.com/
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