Environmental NGO unveils Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian hiking, cycling trails

Providing a first-time experience for nature lovers, the cross-border environmental organization EcoPeace unveiled four guided treks that each traverse Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian territory.

Among the treks are two hiking trails, a bike tour and a walking trip, according to Eco-Peace, which has offices and directors in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. Realized through special funding from the United States Agency for Development (USAID), the project has brought together tour guides, tourism experts and trails in all three places, in what EcoPeace describes as “an unprecedented collaboration for the common cause of attracting tourists to our region.”

“We are proud to introduce an initiative that comes from cooperation among Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. We expect that the trips will attract many tourists from around the world,” said Gidon Bromberg, Israel director for EcoPeace.

Representatives of some 25 European tourism agencies gathered for the launch of the cross-border trails on Thursday in Tzur Hadassah, where they were also joined by Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara.

“I believe that tourism is one of the keys to good neighborly relations,” Kara said. “Therefore, the Regional Cooperation Ministry and I have begun to examine the possibility of giving tourists from Arab states the possibility of passing freely to Israel through Jordan, using Jordanian transfer certificates.

If this takes place, it will greatly contribute to strengthening our relations with the Hashemite Kingdom and with other Arab countries.”

The EcoPeace tours come in various shapes and sizes, organized by an assortment of tour companies from the three places and offering different prices per person based on group size. Continue reading…

(Photo: Jordanian tour guides visiting spots in Israel. Credit to EcoPeace Middle East).

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