‘Our forest-our home’: leisure and tourism among the Bedouin minority in southern Israel

Emir Galilee, Havatzelet Yahel, Gal Oren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article examines leisure and in-country tourism patterns of a Bedouin minority population in a semi-arid desert in southern Israel. This study is the first of its kind to focus on an Israeli minority’s outdoor recreational activities in forests using extensive quantitative and qualitative methods conducted among the Negev Bedouins in 2019–2020. The findings indicate that alongside the community’s integration into the Jewish majority, manifestations of self-segregation and alienation were also present. The study demonstrates the forest’s unique role as an ‘enabling space’, neutral and free from internal cultural, traditional, and social constraints. New internal processes and trends were observed in the minority society, which had not yet been revealed. These include the empowerment of marginalised groups and the formation of a gap between Bedouins who settled in cities and those living in rural areas. Moreover, the study points to the trend of adaptation of the Bedouin society to the majority society’s leisure patterns, along with physical closeness between the majority and the minority during recreation. The research contributes to the broader study of leisure activities by identifying and analysing trends and social processes among a particular ethnic minority group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-147
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Tourism and Cultural Change
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Bedouins
  • Israel
  • Negev
  • Tourism
  • leisure
  • minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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