Israeli booth wins first prize at Madrid tourism trade show

Prize awarded for being the most professional, creative and effective stand among the 200 at the 2010 FITUR tourism exhibition.

January 24, 2011 02:55
2 minute read.
The Israeli booth at the 2010 FITUR trade show.

Israeli booth at Spain tourism trade show 311. (photo credit: Courtesy Tourism Ministry)

Israel’s stand tied for first-place honors at the 2010 FITUR tourism trade show in Madrid over the weekend, along with those of Columbia and Portugal, for being the most professional, creative and effective stand among the 200 at the exhibition.

The Israeli booth, which emphasizes Israel’s historic, cultural and religious significance, highlighting Jerusalem as its tourism magnet, will feature in all future trade shows this year.

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The stand features partitions made up to look like the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, artificial olive trees and walls featuring facts about Israel and things to do in Israel. In one section there is a glass platform covering dirt and stone brought in from Israel so that visitors are given a chance to walk on holy soil.

The display also includes booths operated by Israeli businesses like Ahava Dead Sea products, which attracted visitors by handing out samples of the company’s cosmetics.

The stand was also manned by actors dressed up in historical outfits, explaining the unique attractions in Israel.

Visitors got a chance to meet a pilgrim on horseback, who showed the passersby the way to Jerusalem or an ancient prophet who took down people’s prayers, promising to place the notes in the Western Wall on his return to Israel.

According to FITUR, selection criteria included the stands’ professionalism (the degree to which they addressed the marketing needs of each product); communication/ promotion (the stands’ identification with entities’ images and products); and their design (originality and innovation).

“The [Israel] stand’s image is exquisitely done, with a canopy of hanging, subtly cut lines which infuse the space with unity and make it appealing to visitors,” wrote the judges in their decision.

Sara Salansky, director of the Trade Show Department in the Tourism Ministry, said that the stand, which was designed by British designer Joe Ashton, attempted to combine both the ancient and modern attractions of Israel and offered visitors, both industry professionals and laymen, with a glimpse of what a vacation in Israel would be like.

“This is the 20th time the Tourism Ministry has participated in this trade show and up until now, we have never received recognition. We didn’t even know they handed out awards until we received it yesterday,” said Salansky.

“The FITUR trade show is important because it opens a gateway to all the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in Europe and South America,” said Salansky.

The stand also promoted the Dead Sea as a participant in the New Seven Wonders of the World contest, allowing people to vote in person or explaining to them how to vote online.

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