S+L logo

What's keeping you from the Holy Land?

April 3, 2012
When comparing long-term travel plans among Christian friends, the one country on everyone's list, without exception, is Israel. But obstacles like cost — a typical return flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv will run well over $1000 — mean that many pilgrims tend to make the journey later in life. Looking back on my own experience in Israel in 2009, once I prayed in the places where Jesus ministered, and read the Biblical accounts right where they happened, I was grateful that I did not wait.
According to the Israel’s statistics, I was one of a growing number of pilgrims in recent years. In a new episode of Catholic Focus, I discuss this influx with Israel’s Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov. He says that despite a 25% decrease in tourism worldwide in 2011, the number of Canadian travelers to Israel has continued to climb. In 2011, Canadians counted for 70,000 of the 3.5 million tourists to Israel. Overall, two-thirds of the country’s visitors are Christians.
The Minister of Tourism admits that political instability in the region has hampered tourism. While Israel remains stable, neighbouring Egypt and Syria have been fraught with civil unrest. Misezhnikov is concerned that some would-be travelers, reading the disturbing headlines from afar, aren’t distinguishing between the different countries. Israel must counter the misconception that the entire region is unsafe.
Judging by the numbers of visitors, it seems Israel is largely succeeding. Wednesday night on Catholic Focus, Misezhnikov tells us why now is the time for Christians to make their pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Also in this episode, which airs at 7:00 & 11:00 pm ET / 8:00 pm PT, we visit the newly built Gospel Trail in Northern Israel and go behind the scenes of the Salt + Light documentary Within Your Gates.
Related posts
Day four of the Pre-synod meetings taking place in Rome where youth from all over the world have come to talk candidly with Pope Francis about the future of the Catholic Church. The main themes from t ...read more
Oscar Romero and the legacy of Hope
(S+L Photo: TFI Director Sebastian Gomes and Cinematographer Peter Turek film in Aguilares, El Salvador on Feb 27, 2018) The crew of “The Francis Impact” traveled to El Salvador from Febru ...read more
Understanding Oscar Romero
A short reflection on Ocar Romero’s influence, legacy, and what he represents for millions of Latin Americans to commemorate his Feast Day on March 24. ...read more
A Reflection on Blessed Oscar Romero
Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB gives us a personal reflection on the Blessed Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador. "Who will Finish the Eucharist? A reflection on Blessed Oscar Romero" ...read more
Good evening and welcome to Perspectives Daily At the Pope’s weekly General Audience today, he continued his catechesis on the Mass reflecting on the rite of Holy Communion and invited Christians to ...read more