The State of Israel, is a small country located on the continent of Asia along the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, as well as the landlocked territory of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The country’s largest city, Jerusalem, is the capital and seat of government. It has a rich religious and political history and its population of over 7 million people welcomes a large number of tourists each year.
Geographically speaking, there are many peaceful, scenic locals throughout Israel, but the country itself has known very little peace. When it declared independence in 1948, it spawned the Arab-Israeli War and conflicts have arisen at various intervals along its borders ever since.
Israel is broken down into six different administrative districts: Northern, Haifa, Center, which surrounds the fourth district, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Southern Israel, the largest of the districts. Economically, the country is considered the leader amongst the economically developed countries of the Middle East. It is also home to more museums per capita than any other Middle Eastern country and rivals that of any other country in the world, thus bolstering tourism. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are the two most widely-recognized areas in the country.
Tel Aviv was Israel’s first modern Jewish city and is the economic hub of the country today. Architecture, history, and modern-day arts and culture play an important part of tourism in Tel Aviv. In addition to tourism, Tel Aviv has a busy nightlife with modern day nightclubs, cafes, and shops. Bearing a nickname similar to the US city of Las Vegas, Tel Aviv is referred to as “the city that never stops.”
The population of Israel is comprised mainly of Jewish and Arab people. Though many locations throughout the country are sacred to the Jewish nation, Christians from all over the world travel to Israel each year to bear witness to locations sacred to their own religion. Jerusalem is obviously held sacred by Christian visitors, as is the Via Dolorosa, which is the road Jesus walked after being condemned by Pilate. According to the country's Ministry of Tourism, visitors have been coming to walk the Via Dolorosa for over 1000 years.