Israel is a relatively new state that was just officially founded and recognized after the Second World War. It is small yet has a diverse cultural background. The country has a long coastline in the eastern portion of the Mediterranean Sea and on the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba. Israel shares its borders with several countries. It is bordered by Egypt and the Gaza Strip in the southwest, Lebanon, and Syria in its northern boundary, and Jordan to its east. It was created as a state to become the home of Jewish peoples after World War II. Much of Israel is considered part of the Holy Land, along with portions of Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories. It is a region with strong historical links to three major religions of the world, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. 80% of Israelis within the borders before 1967 are identified as Jewish while the rest identify as Arab or Palestinian, with smaller minorities of Muslim, Christian, Baha’i, Bedouin, and Druze. Get into the historical country of Israel easily with a Health Declaration Form. Tourism has become one of Israel’s biggest sources of revenue. 2017 saw record numbers of visitors going into the country, with 3.6 million tourists arriving in the country. This figure represents a 25% uplift from the previous year. Israel has a very storied past, and it uses all the religious and historical spots, beaches, and other natural attractions to promote adventure tourism, heritage tourism, and eco-tourism. Israel has the highest number of museums for every one of its citizens in the world. As far as Jewish religious sites go, the two most visited are the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and the Western Wall. Masada is the most popular paid attraction in the country, and Jerusalem is its most visited city. Americans account for almost a fifth of the total number of visitors to Israel with Russia, France, Germany, and other nations following. Israel has been controlling the West Bank since it started occupying the region in 1967. Places that were formerly off-limits to citizens of Israel were made available for use in the tourism program. Israel established many facilities in the occupied territories and the eastern portion of Jerusalem so they would be more attractive to domestic and foreign tourists. Despite all the developments, Israelis are largely forbidden to travel to places in the West Bank that are under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Recently, there is a conscious effort on the part of both the Israeli and the Palestinian Authority tourism authorities to work together and create a Joint Committee on Tourism. Don’t miss the experience of Israeli tourism. Enjoy hassle-free entry for those with Medical Declaration Forms. Bethlehem is a place in the West Bank, known as the burial place of the 2nd wife of the Israeli people's patriarch, Jacob (for whom the nation is named after). It is also the biblical birthplace of King David and Jesus. In 2008, there were approximately 1.3 million tourists who visited the historical city. There are numerous historical attractions in and around the city. These include The Manger Square, Solomon’s Pools, the Salesian Cremisan Monastery, Shepherd's Field in Beit Sahour, and the Church of the Nativity, a church built over a cave that tradition says is the birthplace of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Another city in the west bank is Herodium, built by Herod the Great. It is under the administration of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Other well-known sites include Jericho, an ancient city that the biblical Joshua conquered by tearing down its high walls; Qumran, the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found; Hebron, known as the second holiest city in Judaism and the capital of the Kingdom of Judah before David had it moved to Jerusalem; and Nablus, known also as Shechem where Jacob’s Well and Joseph’s Tomb can be found. Appreciate the historical and religious significance of many of Israel’s tourist spots using a self-declaration form to enter the country. The Golan Heights are portions of Syria that Israel captured in 1967 during the Six-Day War. The international community recognized the Golan Heights as Syrian territory occupied and held by Israeli military forces. In 2019, Israeli authority over the area was upheld by the United States after the United Nations Security Council (headed by the US) voted in 1981 to void Israel’s decision to apply civilian law into the area as a sign of sovereignty. To make tourism easier for both Israel and its visitors, the Golan Heights is divided into the north where the majority of tourist spots are located, and the south which is the home of the administrative capital. Follow the advice of seasoned travel guides and rent a car or join an organized tour. There are BNBs and zimmers in the region that can provide accommodations. The Golan is the home of the first ski resort established by Israelis. In order to attract visitors, and to further establish its presence in the region, Israel also set up nature trails and other eco-tourism and adventure tourism attractions. Tourism has long been the focus of inhabitants of the Golan since most of the land is arid. The area also has a lot of national parks that offer a great deal of hiking opportunities. Many of these are being maintained by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. However, there is still the risk of someone triggering a land mine left over from previous conflicts when tourists disregard marked areas. Israel is considered very progressive, and this is evidenced by the fact that members of the LGBTQ community are safe when they are traveling to a place that was previously known to commit crimes against them. However, there are things that are considered to be very poor form when it becomes the topic of discussion in Israel. Most prominent among these are the Holocaust and the Arab-Israeli War. Respect the history of the host nation and you can definitely enjoy your vacation, especially when you have your Travel Health Card for use in entering the country. Book your holiday in Israel now.