(photo credit: Mike Benn)
Seeking to take advantage of Israeli tourists’ boycott of Turkey, the Tourism
Ministry announced Wednesday that it was launching a NIS 1 million advertising
campaign to promote local vacations.
The campaign, running under the
slogan “Now more than ever, vacation in Israel,” will include advertising on
radio stations and billboards, encouraging Israelis to choose domestic
destinations over those abroad, and informing the public of the range of tourism
options available here over the summer.
The advertising will refer people
to the ministry’s Web site, where they will find information about travel,
leisure and events, and links to other sources of information.
a tourism destination for tourists from all over the world, who chose to visit
over the summer and enjoy the wide range of events, attractions and tourism
sites, and should also be a preferred destination for as many Israelis as
possible,” said Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov.
“Taking advantage of
window of opportunity that has presented itself with the cancellation of
vacations to Turkey and the battle over the heart of the Israeli tourist, the
Tourism Ministry and the entire tourism industry is enlisting to the task of
leading Israelis to choose, now more than ever, a vacation in
According to a Tourism Ministryordered survey conducted by
Geocartography research group, 52% of the public went on vacation during the
last year. Of them, 35% vacationed solely in Israel.
The survey, which
was conducted among a representative sample of 800 adults, found that 57% of the
respondents went on vacation to rest, 22% went on active vacations and 11%
choose rural vacations.
The survey found that more than a third of the
public, 35%, visited Eilat, 36% visited the North and 15% went to the Dead Sea.
A majority of the vacationers spent two to three nights on vacation and 90%
expressed a high degree of satisfaction from their last Israeli
Joseph Fischer, executive vice president of Clal Tourism
Holdings, anticipated that Israeli hotels would enjoy their best summer in
“This summer’s trend is local vacations in Israel and it is
already becoming difficult to find vacancies in Eilat for July and August,” he
Fischer said he identified a range of reasons for an apparent
downturn in demand for summer vacations, and not only to Turkey, a trend that
was reflected in low May and June holiday bookings.
“First of all, the
effect of the flotilla outcome has brought about a nearly complete halt to what
was once the most popular vacation, the all-inclusive packages in Antalya,” said
He explained that Israelis have not, as of yet, rushed to adopt
the offered alternatives.
“The psychological element is also important.
Every day the media reports on anti-Israel rallies, consumer boycotts
negative world opinion.
These reports have a mounting effect on people’s
psyche and negatively effect the public’s confidence,” said Fischer.
World Cup tournament, which runs until mid-July, is also having an
“The World Cup is a social event and Israelis are
The thought of having to baby-sit the kids while on
a vacation abroad, compared to watching the games with friends at home
or at a
bar, leaves many Israelis in Israel.”
Fischer said that he anticipates a
rise in demand in the second half of July, August and September, but
“the bottleneck” will cause problems and delays at the airport, and will
probably lead to higher prices as tour operators try to make up lost