TOURISM MINISTRY TO HOST SENIOR MEMBERS OF USTOA, THE UNITED STATES TOUR OPERATORS ASSOCIATION
TOURISM MINISTER DR. UZI LANDAU: “WE WELCOME THE TOUR OPERATORS ARRIVING FROM THE STATES, THERE IS A SPECIAL CONNECTION BETWEEN OUR COUNTRIES, WHICH IS ALSO EVIDENT IN TOURISM. I AM SURE THE VISIT WILL FURTHER THE EXISTING COOPERATION BETWEEN THE AMERICAN TOURISM INDUSTRY AND ITS ISRAELI COUNTERPART AND LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR FUTURE FRUITFUL COOPERATION.”
A senior delegation of American tour operators from USTOA (United States Tour Operators Association) will visit Israel as guests of the Israel Tourism Ministry and hold a special board meeting here. The Association, which is the largest professional trade association for American tour operators, lists some of the world’s most important tour operators among its members. USTOA last visited Israel in 1995.
Over 20 of the leading US tour operators will tour Israel, 17-24 April, seeing for themselves the variety of visiting options in the country. The delegates will meet with the Tourism Minister and with senior members of the Israeli tourism industry, as well as meet with incoming tour operators in Israel in order to strengthen bilateral tourism ties. Among the companies represented in the delegation are Abercrombie & Kent, Adventures by Disney, Lindblad Travel, Cox & Kings and Tauck Tours. The Marketing Administration believes that now, after Operation Pillar of Defense, when marketing efforts to bolster tourism to Israel are in place, there is particular importance in introducing the Israeli tourism product to decision makers.
The delegates will tour Israel, accompanied by representatives from the Tourism Ministry, visiting, among others, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Jerusalem, Haifa, Acco, Safed, the holy sites in Nazareth and the Galilee, Caesarea, the Dead Sea, Judean desert and Masada. This encounter with the Israeli tourism product is expected to generate significant positive exposure for the country. This visit is one of hundreds arranged by the ministry for leading decision makers, opinion formers, journalists, celebrities and senior members of the tourism industry from around the world. Visits of this kind generate much international media coverage that encourages incoming tourism, with an estimated value of hundreds of millions of shekels.
The USA is the leading source country for incoming tourism. In 2012, 610,000 visitors arrived in Israel from the USA, 18% of all incoming tourism. Tourism Ministry statistics show that the average American tourist stays in the country for 12 nights, spending an average of $1841. During 2012, income from tourism from the States reached about NIS 4 billion.
Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: “We welcome the tour operators arriving from the States; there is a special connection between our countries, which is also evident in tourism. I am sure the visit will further the existing cooperation between the American tourism industry and its Israeli counterpart and lay the groundwork for future fruitful cooperation.”