senior tourism 88 224.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem Tourism Board are embarking on a national campaign to promote and make the capital city more accessible as a tourist destination for senior citizens.
"Jerusalem represents a major destination for pensioners but the potential of this growing population visiting the city has not yet been realized," the Tourism Ministry said Sunday. "The main reason why pensioners are not coming to Jerusalem are lack of knowledge about Jerusalem, its abundance of attractive sites and the activities available."
According to a survey conducted for the Tourism Ministry, about 50 percent of pensioners (over the age of 65) in Israel, which make up 676,000 people, travel the country on a regular basis, while 180,000 are able to go on a vacation but didn't.
The NIS 200,000 campaign, which starts in November to February 2008, will offer pensioners reduced tour packages tailored for their needs and interests including hotel stays, special night-time events and entertainment activities in addition to the regular sites. The ministry will launch an advertising campaign in the national press this week with details of the vacation packages.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, is expected to sign, on Monday, a tourism agreement with China that will turn Israel into a major tourism destination for that country.
The so-called "Approved Destination Status" agreement will officially open the gateway for Chinese visitors to come to Israel since the marketing and sales of group vacation packages in China are only approved for destinations with an approved destination status.