At Jesus's birthplace, an app is born to ease crowds

Such are the crowds at the church built on the site where Jesus is believed to have been born that the authorities are planning to introduce an advance reservation system through an app.

The app, which will be introduced early next year, is aimed at ensuring a regular flow of tourists at the Church of the Nativity, where at busy times visitors wait hours to see the underground grotto where Christians believe Jesus was born in a manger.

Details of the app, which will be in English to start, are still being worked out.

One priest said it would only apply to tour groups visiting the site in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, but the Palestinian tourism ministry said it would be for everyone.

While there are concerns visits could become unnecessarily complicated, the three churches that share control of the site-the Catholics, Greek Orthodox and the Armenian Church-say such an app is needed.

"There are times when for us there are specific prayers, celebrations, or masses, or with all the sects praying," Orthodox priest Issa Thaljieh said outside the church.

"So of course there is a huge squeeze. With the app, everyone will know what time to enter and which groups are there, so it will become more organised."

The first church was built on the site in the fourth century, though it was replaced after a fire in the sixth century. Its mosaics were recently restored in a major project.

Palestinian deputy tourism minister Ali Abu Srour said the app would also provide information about the church.

Advertising posters celebrating Christmas are seen on buildings in front of the Old City of the Biblical city of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank "We are going digital with this issue," he told AFP in his office in Bethlehem.

Record year

Barbora Salyova, a 29-year-old tourist visiting Israel and Jordan from Slovakia, said the app could be useful for pilgrims like herself.

"This is a step we definitely planned to make," she said. "We also came for religious reasons so this was an automatic stop."

Tourism in Bethlehem is enjoying its best season in years, with hotels reporting especially high occupancy rates for the Christmas period, said Elias Al-Arja, chairman of the Hotels Association Palestine.

"We had occupancy rates of 74 or 72 percent in 2018," he said, adding that it is expected to rise later in December.

In total around 2.8 million tourists have visited the Palestinian territories this year, up from 2.5 million last year, according to the tourism ministry.

Abu Srour said the primary reason is a decrease in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank this year.

The ministry has reached out to new tourists in locations across the globe, he said.

Website search

Recently updated

Bitdefender Internet Security 2018 Bitdefender Internet Security 2018 Antivirus solution with firewall, antispam, anti-ransomware, password manager, parental control, vulnerability scanner, autopilot, intrusion detection, and more
Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Anti-malware solution with anti-theft, anti-phishing, firewall, autopilot, rescue mode, intrusion detection, ransomware protection, parental control, browser sandbox, password manager, and more
eScanAV AntiVirus Toolkit eScanAV AntiVirus Toolkit Analyzes important areas of your computer, such as the registry, system folders, startup items, running services and the memory to detect potential dangerous content

Software News

Jan 16
Dropping Facebook may be tougher than it appears for Samsung smartphone owners.
Jan 16
What does sustainable shopping look like? From environmental impact to workers' rights, the term can cover so many aspects that buying sustainably can be a daunting task. But a new app that helps people select supermarket ...
Jan 15
Researchers create an application that ensures anonymity and trustworthiness
Minority and dissident communities face a perplexing challenge in countries with authoritarian governments. They need to remain anonymous to avoid persecution, but also must establish a trustworthy identity in their communications. ...
Jan 14
Where is George? Ask this software to look at the crowd
George is a zebrafish. Along with Tom and 98 other mates, George swims freely in a laboratory tank at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown (CCU), in Lisbon, Portugal. A camera records from above a video of all the animals' ...
Jan 10
Computer scientists at Queen's University Belfast have designed a new innovative system to reduce delays on smart devices.
Jan 4
When Amelia Earhart took off in 1937 to fly around the world, people had been flying airplanes for only about 35 years. When she tried to fly across the Pacific, she - and the world - knew it was risky. She didn't make ...
Dec 20
Bethlehem is buzzing, with more tourists expected this Christmas than have visited the Biblical city in years, causing the kind of problem that modern technology was almost born to deal with.

About us

Welcome to new crack resource CrackDownloadz.com! Our service can generate cracks, keygens and serials for your software to unlock it. CrackDownloadz provides a lot of popular cracks and keygens. No spyware and adware at all, just download new cracks, keygens and serials. If you have a software that needs a crack feel free to contact us.

Also you may contact us if you have software that needs to be removed from our website.