Tour operators rue cancellation of Nazareth meeting
Some tour operators in Nazareth, Israel are ruing the effect of COVID-19 pandemic in their business as it has rubbed them the opportunity of hosting thousands of visitors from all over the world for the second edition of Nazareth Meeting with Prophet TB Joshua.
Next week’s June 23 to 24 will be the first anniversary of the first edition of the highly successful programme held at amphitheatre on Mount Precipice in Nazareth
The programme which attracted about 40,000 visitors to the ancient city of Nazareth was hug tourism boost for the city has it saw almost 100 per cent occupancy in all their hotels and it was also huge business food tour operators, bus coach owners and food vendors.
One of the tour operators, Hisham Amal, was speaking to The Nation said: “After what we saw last year, we were looking forward to this year’s edition. Nazareth is a tourist city. We are used to having large number of Christian tourists all year round, but the last time we had such number that we had during the meeting last year was during the visit of Pope John Paul11 in 2000. He also had mass at Mount Precipice. Unfortunately, the global lockdown has made it impossible for the meeting to hold this June.”
Another operator who gave his name agreed with his colleague saying the meeting was a major plus for tourism business last year in Nazareth.
More than 50 luxury and sprinter buses were put to use, conveying people to and fro the mountain. Tens of police personnel and private security providers were also on hand to ensure there was no breakdown of order. Vehicles were parked kilometres away from Mount Precipice, while every visitor assessed the mountain using the bus shuttle. Due to well organized logistics, there was no breach whatsoever.
One of the natives at the event, Roger Wakim, a Christian Arab and a member of the Mother Church of the Holy Spirit in Nazareth Illit summed up the experience. “This is the experience when Jesus was on earth in Israel. He was sent to start ministering at the age of 30. For three and half years he was casting out demons and healing the sick. Deliverance and healing go side by side. Whenever there is deliverance, there will healing.”
The Mount Precipice amphitheatre, built and donated to the town by Prophet TB Joshua and his Emmanuel TV partners, has a capacity of 40,000. It was filled with equally thousands sitting on the plastic chairs provided at the overflow.
The very well organized programme with very tight security and excellent crowd management also saw many natives of Nazareth among the crowd. The natives and tourists trooping to the town to see the birth place of Jesus were confessing seeing the manifestation of the power in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Mayor of Nazareth, Mr. Ali Salam, said the visit and meeting of Prophet T.B. Joshua supports the city economically. His words: “This visit supports the city economically and some defeated politicians in the recent electoral battle, who are trying in vain for relevance, are now working to impede my work on peace. In order to support their weak position, they claim I receive and praise those who claim prophecy.