Stepping up to compete with top-destination cities around the world, Tel Aviv is
reaching out to the international gay and lesbian community.
The Tel Aviv
Tourism Association on Tuesday night kicked off a six-month outreach campaign
labeled “Tel Aviv Gay Vibe,” hoping to introduce gay communities around the
world to Israel’s “city that never sleeps.”
The campaign will be geared
primarily toward gays and lesbians in Germany and France, offering
flight and hotel packages that begin at $500 for three nights.
February, participants will be eligible for four free tours of the city
as a City Pass that provides discounts at restaurants and other
Etti Gargir, CEO of the Tel Aviv Tourism Association, said the
project, budgeted at NIS 340,000, would unite a community of generous
with an open and welcoming city.
“The gay market, they have money to
spend and they love very much the stylized life of Tel Aviv,” Gargir
like the good life.”
She added that the city’s combination of nightlife,
culture and beaches makes it a unique destination.
Yaniv Weissman, an
adviser to Mayor Ron Huldai and a representative of the gay community in
Aviv, said, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Jew or a Christian. Just come
He added that the “Gay Vibe” campaign was not intended to change
the city – rather, it was an effort to expose the international gay
an already thriving gay scene there.
“There already is a gay vibe in Tel
Aviv,” he said.
“You will discover something you don’t know. It will
Two years ago, Weissman applied for his position in the
mayor’s office on a platform of popularizing Tel Aviv’s gay community to
“Tel Aviv has an idea, a vibe to offer over other cities
all over the world,” he said.
At Tuesday’s kickoff event, Huldai came out
to support the initiative, joined by representatives from Tel Aviv’s gay
lesbian community, as well as from the city’s tourism industry.
project is jointly supported by the Tourism Ministry and the Tel Aviv
Municipality. El Al Israel Airlines, Lufthansa and Air Berlin will offer
and charter flights to Tel Aviv.
Weissman downplayed security concerns,
less than a year after a shooting last summer at a gay youth center in
that left two people dead.
He admitted that security remained a central
issue, but noted that such concerns were not unique to Tel Aviv.
community around the world is very strong. Even though we had this
murder in the youth center, it connects the communities even further,”
Tel Aviv has already seen its tourism figures skyrocket. Gargir
projects that this year’s numbers, to be released in September, will set
Earlier this year, the Tourism Association announced the
ambitious goal of drawing more than 2.4 million tourists to Tel Aviv in
Gargir explained that when the “Gay Vibe” campaign ends in
February, the association hopes to expand the project to other gay and
“We’ll do our best to attract other countries,” she
said. “I believe in this market.”