Visitors to the area could be forgiven for not realising that Kibbutz Kalia lies in occupied territory. Its a straight drive along route 90 which bypasses Palestinian communities almost entirely. The North coast of the Dead Sea, although only a few kilometres from Jericho, is completely devoid of Palestinian areas and, only when you go inside Carmel Agrexco date packing houses will you see Palestinians. Visible workers on Kibbutz Kalia’s settlement farms are Thai migrants.
Kalia advertises rooms at its guesthouse on a number of websites including www.booking.com, www.venere.com, www.agoda.com, www.travelbyclick.net and www.webtourist.net. None of these websites make clear that Kalya is in occupied Palestine or that it is an illegal Israeli settlement.
The Kibbutz itself is a fenced and gated unit guarded by an IDF soldier. The guesthouse is run by the kibbutz itself from the main office, which also sells tickets for Kalia’s private beach. Kibbutz Kalia has approximately 300 residents. Inside the kibbutz there is a dairy farm but the main source of income other than tourism seems to be the fields of dates palms stretching toward the border with Jordan.
Kalia beach, where tourists can swim in the dead sea for around 20 pounds, boasts a shop selling dead sea mud and mineral products packaged by Sea of Spa, Premier and Ahava.
Kibbutz Kalia also runs the other major tourist attraction in the area, Qumran. Qumran is the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls. However, the site is now a stopping point for tourist buses who are taken into a series of gift shops where Ahava, Premier, Revival and Sea of Spa Dead Sea Products are on sale.