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On the evening of Tuesday, April 27th, 2021, the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) awarded official reopening certification to the Oasis Hotel in Jericho.

Mr. Majed Ishaq, the Director-General of Tourism Marketing and Media at the Palestine Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) and the head of the national team of auditors, awarded the certificate to the management of the Oasis Hotel in an official ceremony. Attending the event was Ms. Hanna Ilge, Deputy Head of Development Cooperation at German Representative Office, Mr. Gerold Schwarz, Head of the Private Sector Development Program (PSDP) GIZ, Mr. Youssef Salman, Director General of the Oasis Hotel, Mr. Elias Al-Arja, President the Arab Hotel Association (AHA); along with several representatives from the Palestinian Tourism Recovery Taskforce (PTRT), the national team of auditors, the tourist police, and members of the hotel management.

During the event, Youssef Salman, Majid Ishaq, and Ms. Hanna Ilge each expressed their enthusiasm for this important event, and how such achievements can be a way to equip and revive Palestinian tourism, which has been greatly affected by the pandemic. They also stressed the need for concerted efforts between the international community, the Palestinian government, and the private tourism sector to prepare the tourism sector for the new COVID-19 reality. This is especially important as most recently there’s been a rise in active domestic tourism movement within many governorates in Palestine, which may soon include inbound foreign tourism.

As part of a national recovery plan, MoTA has been implementing several interventions throughout Palestine in its efforts to cope with the recent pandemic and provide solutions to support the tourism industry. A key element has been the establishment of a national team of auditors, responsible for inspecting hotels and their facilities to ensure the implementation of COVID-19 specific health protocols and procedures in line with international standards.

The Oasis Hotel is the first hotel in Jericho and the first 5-star hotel in Palestine to earn official certification, signifying that the hotel is in compliance with COVID-19 international health standards and can reopen for business. The hotel implemented virtual training courses using the tourism readiness e-learning portal Jahzeen.ps, for capacity development of its staff members. The hotel also used the COVID-READY module within its facilities.

The COVID-READY module is an online auditing platform that contains in-depth e-learning courses for capacity building and risk management for hotels. It was developed by Hotel Resilient, an acclaimed German institute that is the world’s only scientific benchmarking and certification body for disaster risk management specifically focused on hotels and resorts. Once a hotel operator completes the COVID-READY module and applies the necessary standards and protocols within their hotel and facilities, the national auditing team is then invited to conduct a comprehensive onsite audit.

The national team of auditors consists of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) and representatives from the Arab Hotel Association (AHA), Holy Land Incoming Tour Operators Association (HLITOA), the Palestine Association of Travel Agents (PSTTA), the Arab Guide Union (AGU) and Network of Palestine Experiential Tourism Associations (NEPTO).

The efforts carried out by MoTA and the national team of auditors had technical and financial support by the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, that commissioned the expertise of Hotel Resilient.

Learn more about the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ most recent developments and activities here.

For more information please contact:

Majedishaq@travelpalestine.ps

+972 59 205 9412

www.jahzeen.ps

www.facebook.com/travelpalestine/

About Jahzeen.ps (Jahzeen): Jahzeen.ps is Palestine’s tourism-readiness and resilience e-learning platform developed to fuse COVID prevention standards and protocols into everyday tourism business in Palestine. Its mission is to help enhance tourism sector employee’s skill sets by providing Jahzeen.ps users with learning tools and certification regarding the new standards and protocols necessary to implement a resilient tourism sector recovery. The Jahzeen e-Learning curriculum provides its users with access to information that includes a general introduction to COVID-19 as well as the new standards and protocols necessary to implement a successful recovery.