(photo credit: .)
Israelis and visitors who own iPhones can now download an application that will
give them access to a wide range of information on the nation’s tourist
The application, launched by the Tourism Ministry on Sunday, will
identify the users’ location and allow them to receive fast and updated
information on sites, tours, accommodations and events taking place nearby, as
well as in other areas they intend to visit. It can be downloaded for free from
the Apple Appstore.
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The new application, named iSrael, is currently
available in English and in Hebrew, but ministry officials say it will soon be
translated into other languages including Russian, German and French.
application has three main sections: sites, tracks and accommodations. Each
section can be navigated either by operating the “Around Me” option, which
detects the user’s geographic location via GPS and arranges the information by
distance from the user’s location; or by choosing the “By Region” option, which
presents information according to the part of the country the user wishes to
Once a location is selected, users can choose from a list of
sites according to their interests. The list includes themes such as archeology
and history, nature and animals, holy places, national sites and parks and
Choosing a category opens a list of all the relevant available
attractions in the area and users can select a specific site out of the options
Clicking on a site opens a new page, which provides a photo and
a description of the site as well as helpful information like contact details,
hours of operation, a map of the area, a precise address and a link to the
The tracks section allows users to locate tours
based on their interest and physical abilities. The section is divided into
hiking tours, bicycle tours, vehicle tours and tours for people with
Each tour contains a description of the sites along the way
and a map of the route.
For now the selection is fairly limited, but
Tourism Ministry officials said that more tours will be available as more are
uploaded by the ministry and as other tourism bodies contribute suggested
The accommodation section is also divided by region and features a
fairly comprehensive list of the available facilities split into three
categories: listed hotels, field schools and youth hostels.
Clicking on a
hotel provides information on things like available amenities, contact details,
kashrut standard, suitability for young children or pets and
According to the Tourism Ministry, in the future, the application
will be fed by other tourism bodies and will include broader information on
things such as public transportation, gas stations and hospitals.
advantage of available technology, users will be able to upload their own
photographs and comments to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter in
real time through the application.
While iSrael is currently only
available to iPhone users, ministry officials say the system will eventually be
adapted for other gadgets.
“The Tourism Ministry continues to lead the
service revolution for the tourist and visitor to Israel with the use of
advanced technology, as is done in the major tourism cities around the world.
This application joins the Tourism Ministry’s electronic marketing system that
includes the expansion of the website into different languages, activities in
the social media, setting up forums, and so on,” Tourism Minister Stas
In the upcoming months the ministry plans to market the
application via its website (www.goisrael.com), the tourism offices in
Ben-Gurion Airport, Jerusalem, Eilat and Nazareth, and via various tourism
industry bodies in Israel and overseas.