A new hotel for an authentic experience of “sustainable tourism”

Our blog for April is focused on tourism in Palestine. This week we share a unique new model of sustainable tourism: The Ad Dar Community Hotel. It is a “scattered” hotel existing in separate homes and apartments in the historic Center of Bethlehem.

A “scattered” hotel is a concept initially developed in Italy where rooms are not located within one single building but spread in different buildings within the town, sometimes it will be a full house available, sometimes some rooms in a family house.

A unified management is a key requirement for “scattered” hotels, and in Bethlehem it is at DIYAR’s International Center where there is already a reception desk that serves the Abu Jubran (Lutheran) Guesthouse and meals available at the Center’s award winning Il’ Iliyeh Restaurant. All of the units in the “scattered” hotel are on the charming streets of Bethlehem’s historic old city neighborhood and steps from the colorful produce markets just off Manger Square.

Visitors to Bethlehem’s “scattered” hotel benefit from being in homes and in an historic neighborhood where they will experience the hospitality for which Bethlehem is well known. It is off the beaten path of commercial tourism offering an authentic experience sampling of life in a Palestinian town known for its excellent food, arts and culture.

The project is part of a larger “Futures of Our Past” initiative in the Mediterranean Region. The project seeks to “make historic centers of the Mediterranean area the cornerstone of a sustainable tourism development: focused on local communities (economic and social sustainability), respectful of local cultural values and able to value the heritage of forms and ideas of these territories (cultural sustainability), by preserving the environmental qualities of the surrounding areas (environmental sustainability)”.

The Ad Dar Community Hotel project is a partnership between the property owners, DIYAR, the Bethlehem Municipality, the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism, The Bethlehem Foundation, the Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation and several Palestinian Tour and Guide organizations.

As a result of the project five properties have been restored for adaptive reuse as units of the “scattered hotel”. Each has its own character and are a short walk from the International Center that serves as the welcome / reception desk and is available for meals and other services.

If you are traveling to Bethlehem, consider a stay at this innovative addition to Bethlehem’s hospitality; hotel that is a model of sustainable tourism. The good people at the Ad Dar Community Hotel look forward to welcoming you!

Watch this short film about the ADDAR Community Hotel experience in Bethlehem:

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