Raed Saadeh of the Alternative Tourism Network in Palestine’s gave a presentation at the 2010 Adventure Travel World Summit. Raed’s presentation focused on creating awareness of the many unique, authentic experiential tourism experiences available in Palestine. Raed spoke about the challenges that Palestine is facing as an emerging destination and one that most frequently attracts negative media and asked the other delegates to engage in partnerships with Palestine to improve their tourism experiences and promote them to intrepid, curious and caring travelers in order to forward peace in the world and the lives of the people in Palestine.
Mr. Saadeh told Shannon Stowell, president of the ATTA, that Palestine believed it is the best tourism show he has ever attended. The delegates have a genuine and passionate commitment to developing and promoting responsible community tourism. Because of this common interest, it is easy to have meaningful and deep discussions with them. This is different from other shows where there are many mainstream operators and it is often necessary to first explain the responsible tourism concept and the social, cultural, and economic objectives ATN is trying to achieve at the community level. In addition, the delegates want to support each other and are open to creating partnerships, making the Palestinian delegation feel welcome and included. A small tour operator feels that they can make progress and achieve benefits at ATWS, unlike other large shows where the small operator can feel intimidated and unimportant.