Winter tourism due to get big boost

Tourism Ministry to launch an NIS 40 million advertising campaign; aimed at countries showing an interest in Israel as a tourism destination.

masada tourism 311 (photo credit: Ahikam Seri/Bloomberg)
masada tourism 311
(photo credit: Ahikam Seri/Bloomberg)
The Tourism Ministry announced on Sunday that it is concluding 2010 with a NIS 40 million advertising campaign geared toward bringing new tourists to Israel.
According to its spokeswoman, the ministry will launch advertising campaigns over several months in target countries for incoming tourism, including the United States, Russia, Germany, France and the Scandinavian lands.
Additionally, “The campaign will run alongside marketing activities in new countries that are showing an interest in Israel as a tourism destination, including South Korea, Poland and Ukraine,” she said.
The new campaign will highlight the branding of Israel as the Holy Land with Jerusalem at its center, and with a significant, targeted approach to the evangelical communities in the US and other countries. “The Tourism Ministry is working hard to increase the number of tourists from the evangelical community, given its large and as-yet unrealized potential according to ministry estimates,” said the spokeswoman.
The winter campaign will also include activities to increase the number of tourism wholesalers marketing Israel, generate additional seat capacity and frequency on flights to Israel, and will encourage new air routes into the country.
“The success of the marketing activities and the increase in incoming tourism during the winter season is very important in leveraging the tourism industry in 2011,” said Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov. “We are working to bring another million tourists to Israel by 2012 and five million tourists by 2015. As the Israeli winter is an attraction for tourists from many countries around the world, we are working to ensure that the winter season will become a significant part of Israel’s tourism product,” he said.
According to the Tourism Ministry’s figures, 2.2 million tourists visited Israel between January and August 2010. Of the top 10 locations, 480,000 tourists came from North America (17 percent more than the same period in 2009); 330,000 tourists arrived from Russia representing a 55% increase; 200,000 from France, 113,000 from Germany, 120,000 from England, 106,000 from Italy; 86,000 from Poland; 52,000 from the Ukraine and 30,000 from South Korea (an increase of 111%).
Israeli tourism professionals welcomed the marketing initiative.
Yossi Weiss, chairman of the Israeli Tour Guides Association, said that any investment in marketing budgets lead to an increase in the number of tourists who arrive in Israel and increases the amount of jobs in the tourism industry as a whole and especially in Israel’s periphery.