During the first two intermediate days of the Passover holiday, a record 10,000 people visited the Gush Etzion bloc of Judean Jewish communities, south of Jerusalem, and similar numbers are expected before the holiday ends. The region offers a number of activities and attractions including the audio-visual spectacle at the Kfar Etzion visitor's center, the Herodion National Park, the Deer-Land farm and the therapeutic animal park.
Director Oriyah Dassberg of the Gush Etzion Tourist Association says that tourism is on the rise because of the area's proximity to Jerusalem, the lack of traffic jams, its tourist sites and unique combination of attractions and activities, along with natural resources. She noted that hikers could avail themselves of dry and wet routes to wells filled by this winter's abundant rains. Horse, bicycle and jeep tours are also popular.