Tao Dance Theater Company of China.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Noting China’s exponential tourism growth and interest in the Jewish state, the
Israeli Embassy in Beijing has launched an Israel-themed “Road Show” to market
the country, as well as ease visa restrictions for Chinese
Israel has become an increasingly attractive tourism
destination for Chinese visitors, according to the Central Bureau of
Indeed, in 2012, more than 20,000 visitors from China came to
the country, and there was a 27-percent rise in Chinese tourists in the first
five months of this year.
“The Tourism Ministry has identified the
tourism potential in China, defining it as one of the leading destinations in
its campaign for emerging markets,” Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said Monday. “As
a result, we will work to increase the number of incoming tourists from China to
Israel over the next few years.”
In an effort to seize on this momentum,
Landau said the Israeli Government Tourist Office in China has organizing a
“Road Show” in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou for the cities’ leading travel
agents which began Monday and will continue until Friday.
The Road Show
consists of seminars marketing Israeli tourism activities, and a series of
roundtable meetings between Israeli and Chinese tour operators to encourage
The ministry has also produced a booklet in Chinese,
featuring business profiles of the Israeli companies participating in the Road
Additionally, to spur greater tourism from China, the ministry will
offer visitors an option for a visa for independent travelers without the need
for assistance from a local tour operator, a simpler procedure for issuing
business visas to Israel, and bank guarantees for residents of Beijing, Shanghai
and Guangzhou, where Israel has consular offices.
According to CBS,
Israel has enjoyed record tourism growth this year.
A total of 1.7
million visitors arrived during the first two quarters, a 1% increase from the
same period in 2012, an 8% increase from 2011, and a 6% increase from 2010. Of
these visitors, 1.4 million were tourists, 1% less than 2012, 2% more than 2011
and 7% more than 2010.
“For the last few months, there has been an
increase in incoming tourism in comparison to figures from last year,” said
Landau. “The Tourism Ministry views tourism as an essential engine for economic
growth that creates new jobs in the periphery.”
“We will continue our
work in growing the number of visitors to Israel and realizing the tourism
potential,” he added.
In April, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced his
intention to make Israel one of the most visited countries in the
“Eight years ago Jerusalem had a little over 2 million tourists a
year. I want to reach 10 million,” he said at a UJA Federation
“When we analyze where we were eight years ago, we can see
that we have huge potential to fulfill the vision of reaching the scale of
tourists seen by other cities,” he continued. “New York has 50 million tourists,
Paris has over 60 million, and Jerusalem had a little over 2 million – far from
where we should be.”