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Tourism requests NIS 350m. budget raise
Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog requested a NIS 350 million increase to the ministry's 2007 budget in a meeting with the Knesset Finance Committee chairman Yaa'cov Litzman to assist in the industry's recovery efforts after the summer's war in Lebanon.
The ministry said its budget has steadily dropped from NIS 708m. in 2000 to the NIS 290m. allocated for next year.
The requested budget would increase allocations for infrastructure development from NIS 78m. to NIS 150m., capital investment incentives program from NIS 90m. to NIS 150m. and to include NIS 250m. set aside for marketing as recommended by the Ernst and Young guidelines for industry growth presented last month. The firm suggested that $250m. be allocated for marketing over the next five years.
Herzog said that since the report was presented, his office has been in talks with the Finance Ministry over the last three weeks to develop a multi-year working plan for the industry.
The Tourism Ministry is expected to present its program for next year towards the end of the month.
Litzman said the Finance Committee would stand behind the ministry in its discussions with the treasury to increase the ministry.
"We are talking about a small office but one which has great influence on the budget," Litzman said. "It is forced to compete with wars and terror attacks, but we will help it."
Brussels Airlines features Tel Aviv
As Israel steps up its efforts to present itself as an attractive alternative for winter travelers seeking to escape the European cold, SN Brussels Airlines has featured Tel Aviv on its December in-flight magazine. The airline launched its new monthly magazine 'b there!' this week for its European fleet with Tel Aviv on the cover.
In addition to presenting the airline's promotions and products, the magazine has stories in English, French and Dutch "with each issue bringing a slice of what's going on across the Brussels Airlines network - be it business, culture, current affairs, entertainment or the latest trendy spot to eat, sleep or simply be seen in."
Roby Herskowicz, Brussels Airlines country manager said the company placed strong emphasis on promoting the Tel Aviv route and had featured at least a small item in each edition of its magazine over the last year.
Brussels Airlines has five flights per week in the winter and code shares on an additional five with El Al. It intends to increase that to daily flights in the summer, with another seven on a code-share basis.
Diesenhaus joins Herzliya ski school
Meanwhile, seeking an atypical Israeli winter of snow and cold, Israelis are increasingly taking to ski trips abroad.
In preparation for this, Diesenhaus Unitours is offering a special discount for customers planning a snow holiday to attend the newly established ski and snowboarding school in Herzliya.
The tour operator is offering a free trial lesson at the school for customers who have bought a ski package of over â‚¬900 through its agency. In addition, customers who complete 10 lessons at the school will receive a NIS 100 voucher to buy ski gear, while 15 lessons will entitle customers to an extra free lesson.
Winter deals slide in
The winter has also brought some attractive fares on offer from airlines operating the Tel Aviv route.
German airline Lufthansa is offering flights to New York for $616 and tickets to Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston for $666 and other US destinations for $766.
The airline is issuing the ticketing in partnership with United Airlines and passengers need to make the purchase by December 31 for travel before February 28, 2007.
British Airways is offering various packages for three nights in London including flights and accommodation over Hanukkah and the New Year holiday. The deals range in price from $791 to $1,105.