The Tourism Ministry on Sunday announced the launch of Tourphone - a new information phone service for the benefit of tourists who visit Israel. The new service promises its users tourist and useful information, help in case of emergencies, guidance about the Israeli authorities and more. "Good service will assist in positioning Israel as a desired tourist destination around the world. The Tourism Ministry is also seeking to improve the level of service for the Israeli traveler and in all sectors of the local tourism industry," Shaul Tzemach, general-director of the Tourism Ministry, said on Sunday. The service is launched as part of the preparations for the arrival of 2.8 million tourists to Israel in 2008 Between January and June 2008, the number of tourists who have already visited Israel grew by 45 percent. The Tourphone service is active 24 hours a day on 7 days a week. The first few months of its operation will constitute as a trial period after which the need in more telephone receptionists and other elements will be examined and improved accordingly. Tourists will be informed about the service at border controls while entering the state of Israel. A postcard with the details of the service will be handed out in English and French and at a later stage in in more languages. The postcard includes further essential phone numbers of the Tourism Ministry, the ministry's Web site and the information centers across the country. The service can be used by dialing *3888 from any phone for the cost of a regular local phone call.