In an effort to boost local tourism, the Tourism
Ministry on Wednesday announced the launch of a new publicity campaign
highlighting Israel's rural tourism sector.
NIS 500,000 campaign will focus on tourism opportunities in the
periphery and run under the slogan "There's a vacation and then
there's…. rural fun."
The campaign will start Thursday; it will last a month and will
be accompanied by promotions from various travel agencies and tourist
attractions that will provide special discounts and opportunities to
those who purchase rural travel packages.
According to the Tourism Ministry, the campaign will expose
Israelis to various domestic destinations and the attractions they can
find there. These range from private and tranquil kibbutz guesthouses
and farms on moshavim, to active vacations for families that include
bicycle tours, agricultural activities, tours to wineries and olive oil
refineries, visits to dairy farms and bee hives and participation in
The campaign will appear in newspapers and leading
Web sites and will be accompanied by a new Tourism Ministry Web page
that will provide potential tourists with the details of the campaign,
the tour packages on offer, a calendar of events and links to relevant
Web sites that deal with rural tourism.
"We see great importance in strengthening local tourism by
increasing visits, nightly accommodations and the use of tourist
attractions, which will maintain continued activity and employment,"
said Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov.
rural tourism activity will enable the employment of additional workers
to the tourism sector, while expanding the range of products."
"Rural and agricultural tourism is one of the main economic
boosters for the periphery. Along with agriculture, it is the main
source of employment for the residents of the periphery," said
Agriculture Minister Shalom Simchon. "The new campaign is an additional
step towards establishing new jobs and promoting small businesses, as
part of the ministry's plans for rural development."
According to Tourism Ministry statistics, in 2009 NIS 2 billion were spent on rural tourism.
An additional component to increasing tourism to the periphery
is a joint effort of the Tourism Ministry and the the Negev and Galilee
Development Ministry to launch a grading system for Israel's rural
The grading system, which recently completed a successful pilot in the north, will be expanding to the rest of the country.
The grading system measures 140 different criteria in line with
international norms and give the rooms grades of A, B and C, based on
the levels of quality and service. The criteria include things like the
type of mattresses and pillows prvided, distance of the tzimmer from
chicken coops or cow sheds, the size of room, noise from the air
conditioning, credible advertising and many others.
There are about 9,000 tzimmers in Israel which mainly attract
domestic tourists during weekends, holidays and vacations. The annual
occupancy rate of rural guesthouses stands at 38 percent.
The Israel Tourist and Travel Agents Association said that in
response to requests from the Tourism and Agriculture ministries, the
association had approached its members to offer the best possible tour
"Every agency sent us their best deals. The packages include
accommodations, entrance to local attractions and meals, or discounts
on meals at local restaurants," said a spokeswoman for the association.
Full details can be found at the Tourism Ministry Web site at www.goisrael.gov.il