Travel Trends: Gov't launches tourism hot line

The Tourism Ministry established an open line to answer travel-related questions resulting from the heightened security situation in the country.

hotline 88 (photo credit: )
hotline 88
(photo credit: )
The Tourism Ministry established an open line on Wednesday to answer travel-related questions resulting from the heightened security situation in the country. The line will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week in English, French and Hebrew, the ministry said. It is designed to help serve foreign tourists planning a trip to Israel, those already in the country and Israelis who need information about arriving here, travel around Israel, hotels and flights. The number designated for the project is (03) 520-7600. Questions also may be sent via email Solidarity tourism emerging Given that violence has a deeper impact on tourist-related businesses, the nature of travelers to Israel may be shifting to more loyal supporters of the country in the Jewish and US Christian communities. Playing on this theme, Israir is offering one-way tickets to Tel Aviv from New York for $299 plus taxes under the campaign slogan "The best support you can give Israel is yourself." The offer is valid for flights leaving NY through the end of July and for bookings made before July 20. The company is also offering a "spend Shabbat in Jerusalem" program for $699 (excluding taxes) including return flights and hotel accomodation with breakfast and full board over Shabbat. Israir has two options on offer leaving July 26, or July 27, both returning August 1. The itinerary includes a trip to the North. As a sign of solidarity with residents of the North, tourism businesses in the rest of the country have presented offers for evacuees staying in hotels during the current crisis Museums in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem, including the "Burnt House" and the "Herodean Quarter Museum," are offering a 50 percent discount for all residents of the North. Similarly, the Train Theater has a buy one, get one free deal for visiting residents. Elsewhere, data communications company Rad Data Communications has reserved 100 rooms in hotels in the Center of the country for families affected by the violence. Deals to love As Tu B'Av - the Jewish equivalent of Valentine's Day - approaches on August 8, Diesenhaus Unitours has presented offers to some of the more romantic destinations around the world, for the festival. These include three nights in Paris for $669 per person for flights and hotel stay with breakfast, and six nights in a Tuscany hotel with breakfast plus flights for $799 per person. Other deals on offer this week include nine days in Russia leaving on August 7 with Rimon Tours. The price of $1,796 includes the return flight with El Al, internal flights from Moscow to St. Petersburg, ground services, hotel stay with two meals a day and guided tours. On the same terms, Rimon is offering seven days in Slovenia and Ukraine for $1,098 leaving on July 27. Arkia International Airlines started operating weekly flights to Lisbon, Portugal on July 11, and is offering round-trip flights and car rental for a week there for $689 per person. Farnborough Airshow takes off One of the largest aviation gatherings kicked off this week as a total 1,480 exhibitors from 35 countries attended the Farnborough International Airshow. Running from Monday through July 23, the show will have 77 defense delegations from 43 countries attending and 40 company delegations from 15 countries at the commercial aerospace presentations. Israeli companies presenting at the show include Elbit Systems, Tadiran Communications, Israel Aircraft Industries and the Elisra Group. At the last Farnborough event in 2004, $21 billion in orders were announced. Already this year, Airbus announced that Afriquyah Airways agreed to buy for six A330s and 14 A320s. The European manufacturer also sold an additional A330-300 to Air Caraibes at the show. Airbus also presented its A350 family of aircraft, which will compete with Boeing's Dreamliner 787 product, for which Boeing said at Farnborough it is currently finishing the development stage and starting production. Boeing also received a number of orders at the show, including an agreement with Emirates SkyCargo for 10 747-8 Freighters and a leasing agreement for six 787-8s from Pegasus Aviation Finance Company and 30 737-900ERs.