Continental to screen Israel promotions

Under the deal, estimated to be valued at NIS 340,000, Continental flights will feature six-minute promotional videos which the ministry projected would present Israel to some 2 million people.

The Tourism ministry has signed an agreement with Continental Airlines to feature Israel as a tourist destination on the airline's in-flight entertainment through February, the ministry said Wednesday. Under the deal, estimated to be valued at NIS 340,000, Continental flights will feature six-minute promotional videos which the ministry projected would present Israel to some 2 million people. The clips will be screened on all Continental flights with in-flight entertainment including its international routes and some domestic flights in the US. The deal also allows the ministry to promote the screenings in the airline's three in-flight magazines and on its radio station. "This agreement will enable passengers, many who have had no exposure to Israel, to get to know the country as a tourist destination," Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog said. The agreement follows a meeting between Herzog and Continental CEO Lawrence Kellner during Kellner's first ever visit to Israel last month and is the first deal of its kind signed by the ministry with a foreign airline. "Israel is a great market for us and has been consistently strong in both our business and cabin classes," Kellner told journalists during his visit. In 2006, Continental carried 3.96% of all traffic into Tel Aviv, behind only El Al and Lufthansa for the year, the Israel Airports Association reported this week. Canada eases US entry visa process Air Canada passengers flying to the US will soon be able to take care of their US entry-visa concerns while in transfer in Toronto when the latest addition to the new terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport opens January 30. In connecting to the US, passengers will be able to complete all their US customs formalities in Canada, without having to go through the Canadian process, thus avoiding the often lengthy and bureaucratic procedure otherwise required on arrival in the US. The service, which will only be available to Air Canada passengers, will be launched with the opening of the new "Pier F" section in Terminal 1at the airport, which will serve as Air Canada's main thoroughfare between the US and Canada. Billed as the next generation of airports, the new terminal will include 25 additional gates, 56 additional check-in counters for international travel and 78 counters for trans-border travelers. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), responsible for the project, said the airport will also feature the world's longest and fastest same step moving walkways at 278 meters in length, moving at a speed of two meters per second. Two of its gates will be equipped to handle the special needs of the double-decker A-380 aircraft. 70% of Israelis to travel in '07 Approximately 70% of Israelis are planning to take vacations in 2007, a survey by IMTM (International Mediterranean Tourism Market) revealed ahead of its annual tourism fair in Tel Aviv next month. Around 31% of Israelis will make their holidays in Israel, IMTM said while 22% will travel abroad and 14% of the population will take vacations both locally and overseas. The survey showed that just 5% of the haredi community planned to vacation in Israel in 2007, compared to 21% in a similar survey last year. One-fifth of secular Israelis said they would travel locally during the year. The IMTM travel fair is scheduled to take place February 6-7 at the Tel Aviv Exhibition and Fair Grounds. Some 30 countries are listed to have exhibition stands at the event, among them Austria, Tanzania, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua will participate in the show for the first time. Design Hotels eyes Rimonim Neptune The newly renovated Rimonim Neptune Hotel in Eilat said it is currently being evaluated to join the prestigious "Design Hotels" collection of hotels with "progressive design." The list currently includes 140 hotels from 42 countries around the world and inclusion of the Rimonim Neptune would mark the first entry by an Israeli hotel. The request for application follows the completion of a NIS 50 million renovation and its reopening to the public latre in 2006. A spokesman for the hotel said it was currently building a spa, scheduled for completion in approximately two months, which will complete its array of services offered. 150 journalists to arrive for Go Galilee The Tourism Forum in the North will take place for the 13th time this year at an investment of approximately NIS 1 million. The Go Galilee program is funding the event which will see some 150 journalists, television crew and tourist organizations from around the world tour the North for a week starting January 31. Go Galilee said the end goal of the program is that the participants return to their respective countries and spread the word about the travel possibilities in the Galilee as a tool to bring tourists back to the North. The organizers added that due to the crisis in the tourism industry, resulting from the war in the North last summer, the Forum decided to bring the event forward to the beginning of the year from the end as was initially planned.