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November tourism to Israel up almost 40%

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Almost miraculously, Israel turned a near-disaster into a big pay-off! Read how the faltering Israeli tourism market caused the ministry to jump into action - and how it has paid off ... in spades! The main countries targeted: India and China. But Israel's friendly Arab neighbours, Jordan and Egypt, played their parts too.
by ANT KATZ | Dec 11, 2016

Israel’s tourism industry has been experiencing record-breaking numbers over the past year, despite the wave of Palestinian terrorism. In November alone, 287 900 tourists entered the Holy Land, consisting of a 38 per cent rise as compared with November 2015. During the first 11 months of this year, Israel recorded a whopping 2 651 400 tourist entries – a year-on-year increase over 2015.

Clearly, November’s numbers were the cherry on top - the highest in history for that month -  and showed how what was looking set to be a sluggish year for tourism could be turned around by a proactive marketing campaign.

Israel Tourism slogan“The intensive marketing efforts that we have invested in new markets such as China and India, together with focused campaigns for the winter season, have led to a record-breaking number of tourists entering Israel during November,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin last Sunday.


RIGHT: Israel's Tourism Minister Yariv Levin 

In August, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism launched its first-ever television advertising campaign in India, specifically targeting potential tourists to the Holy Land.

Israel spent R22,5 million, three times its normal budget, over a two-month period, promoting Israeli tourism with the slogan: “On most vacations, you take a trip. But in Israel, you take a journey.”

Israel’s Tourism Ministry also prioritised its marketing strategy on China. Chinese tourists spend the most money during their stay in Israel - R26 864 per person per visit, compared to the average of R22 076.

The number of tourists from China has increased dramatically since 2000. In one year alone, from 2014 to 2015, Chinese tourism increased by 43 per cent.

Israel Tourism sloganOver 6 000 tourists so far this year have also come from Israel’s friendly Arab neighbours, Jordan and Egypt.

Levin noted that the revenues to the Israeli economy during the past month alone reached over R3,6 billion – approximately R1.4 billion more than last November, a sum almost equal to the annual Israel tourism marketing budget.

“Our goal is to continue focusing our campaigns so as to meet the challenge of creating an ongoing increase in incoming tourism,” Levin said. “This is proof of the tourist industry’s incredible potential and the fact that the innovative ideas that we are putting into practice have led to an immediate significant contribution to the Israeli economy.”

It is of significance that the increase in incoming tourism occurred during a year in which Israel experienced multiple Palestinian terrorist attacks, which normally drive away tourists.

  • All currency conversions correct as per  December  11 2016

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