Alternative Tourism Group (ATG)- Study Center

The ATG is a Palestinian NGO specializing in tours and pilgrimages that include critical examinations of the history, culture, and politics of the Holy Land. Established in 1995, ATG operates according to the tenets of “justice tourism”, that is, tourism that holds as its central goals the creation of economic opportunities for the local community, positive cultural exchange between host and guest through one-on-one interaction, the protection of the environment and political/historical education. ATG works to encourage all tourism operators to abandon exploitative mass tourism and to adopt practices that positively affect the host population. Through these methods, ATG seeks to promote a positive image of Palestine and its people and to contribute towards establishing rightful peace in the area. Since its establishment, ATG has provided its services to thousands of people from all over the world.

Our objectives

  • To modify mass tourism in “the Holy Land” in order to establish a more human-oriented tourism.
  • To put foreign tourists in direct contact with the Palestinians so as to help them develop a better understanding of Arab-Palestinian culture and history.
  • To break down negative stereotypes of Palestine and its people that predominates in the West.
  • To achieve a balance between the revenues of the Palestinian and Israeli tourism sectors by using Palestinian infrastructure (hotels, restaurants, transportation, guides, etc.)
  • To augment the number of tourists visiting Palestine and increase the length of their stay in Palestinian areas.
  • To develop knowledge of Palestinian culture and the socio-political situation in Palestine amongst tourists.
  • To encourage instructive and authentic meetings with the Palestinian people and to develop amongst tourists an objective understanding of everyday realities of the Israeli Occupation.
  • To offer tourists the opportunity to share unique experience with Palestinians through volunteer work with non-governmental organizations (olive harvesting, planting trees, etc.).

Since 1997, the ATG has started the Homestay program, in order to have the tourists and pilgrims interact with the local people, enrich their understanding of Palestinian culture, extend their circle of friendship, and appreciate Palestinian hospitality, taste local traditional food.

The ATG has also a well-established study center that produces researches and publications related to Palestinian tourism and alternative tourism. The ATG published the first comprehensive Palestinian guidebook “Palestine and Palestinians”. The guidebook is available in 7 languages, German, French, English, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. The book provides an in-depth, up-to-date journey through the entire range of Palestinian culture: ancient and modern history, archaeology, religion, architecture and politics. It also offers a great variety of documentary materials and practical information, making it an invitation to discover Palestine.

The ATG has also developed an Application “Palestine & Palestinians”, which has valuable information for travellers, before and during their visit to Palestine. The Application can be downloaded for free from the App store for Apple devices, and the play store for Android devices.

Besides our quarterly Newsletter “Palestine & Palestinians”, the ATG has an Alternative Tourism Journal in which publications specifically related to alternative tourism are produced.

Our programmes are both critical and experiential in nature. They include:

Tours to key sites led by our specially-trained guides: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, Jaffa , Haifa, Nazareth and other cities and towns; villages , Palestinian refugee camps, Bedouin communities and the Israeli West Bank colonies (settlements), working-class communities, centers of commercial life and religious sites.

Encounters with Palestinians and Israelis, academics, political leaders, government officials, NGO staff members and local people.

An opportunity to experience local life and interact with families through accommodation in Palestinian homes.

Interfaith encounters including meetings with people of Muslim, Jewish and Christians faith.

Special programmes planned in co-operation with Palestinian and Israeli academic institutions, including opportunities to engage in research projects.

Special tours designed around specific issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, pre-1948 Palestinian society, refugees, the status of women, conflicts of the religious state, conflicting historical narratives, development issues, pilgrimages and the like.

During your stay in Palestine, you can join the following day tours:

  • Hebron -or - Hebron and Bethlehem
  • Culinary Tour
  • Privately organized tour to your liking.

Or, you can register to one of our campaigns:

  • Olive Tree Planting
  • Olive Picking Program
  • The Nativity Trail

ATG works with a wide range of groups and delegations, including

  • International solidarity groups
  • Academic and fact-finding delegations
  • Church groups concerned with issues of social justice
  • Diplomats, journalists and researchers
  • NGOs and political organizations
  • Tourists and pilgrims’ groups
By choosing ATG you will encounter a personal, unforgettable experience with the local communities and a fair trip to the Holy Land. The people of Palestine and from ATG would like to invite you to visit our country to learn about all our history, religions, conflicts, culture and traditions. Here, in this very special place, you will have a life experience that you will never find anywhere else.