What is Slow Tourism?

Slow Tourism means moving at a pace that allows rediscovery-

Rediscovering oneself with patience, peace of mind, deeper experiences, improved cultural understanding and knowledge

It is letting go of the stress and speed of traveling, and accepting a slow pace as the norm for undertaking one’s journey

The  Green Pilgrim Jerusalem  team  focuses  on  the  development  and  implementation of initiatives that demonstrate the spirit of the philosophy of Green Pilgrimage and Slow Tourism.

The ascent to Jerusalem, an important destination for millions of pilgrims every year, gives expression to ancient tradition, going back thousands of years. Although there are paths leading up to the city from all sides, the approach from the Judea desert in the east is  undoubtedly the most impressive one of all.
This  desert,  stretching  from  the  Dead Sea  up  to  Jerusalem,  was  the  backdrop  for  events  of  great  importance  to  the  three monotheistic faiths, as they developed and were shaped in this remarkable landscape.

 

In  spite  of  the  checkered  and  violent  history  of  the  region,  the  desert  has  remained untouched  by  time  for  the  most  part.  It  gives  the  pilgrim  the  opportunity  to  experience  a biblical  landscape,  since  the  local  Bedouin  tribes  live  much  as  did  the  Patriarch  Abraham, father of the three monotheistic faiths.
The landscape, heritage and culture together create an opportunity to enjoy local hospitality in a unique ambiance.

This  has  opened  the  way  for  sustainable  economic  initiatives,  in the spirit of “slow tourism”, developed  by  local  stakeholders.  The  result  will  hopefully  be  that  the  local population  regains  a  sense  of  pride  and  ownership  of  their  natural,  built  and  intangible heritage.

The ascent to Jerusalem through the Desert takes about three days. There is no single route, but diverse ways to reach the Holy City, each offering different sites and experiences, according to the faith and individual perspective of the pilgrim.

The  Green Pilgrim Jerusalem  team  has  already  implemented  it,  taking  several  pilot groups through Jesus’ or Omar’s ascent to Jerusalem, or sharing the prophets’ experience of meditation  in  the desert.

Fast  transportation  denies  the  added value  to  be  gained  from  the  physical  experience  of  the  way  itself.

During  the  ascent  to  the Holy  City,  our  pilgrims  internalize  the  spiritual  depth  of  their  journey.  The  impact  of  the solitude of the desert, added to the intensity of the Old City itself, forge an understanding of the  need  to  protect  and  preserve  heritage.  This  understanding  influences  them  after  their return home, where they will add environmental responsibility to the spiritual transformation resulting from their pilgrimage.

Want to read more?

Read the full article we wrote on the subject, which we presented at the European Pilgrimage Routes conference in Italy in November 2014: The Ascent to Jerusalem from the Desert – Modern Pilgrims are Inspired by Re-enacting the Ancient Pilgrim Experience