TOURISM MINISTRY PRESENTS AT IMTM,  THE INTERNATIONAL MEDITERRANEAN TOURISM MARKET:

 

  • ·For the first time in Israel, TEDxTel Aviv Salon
  • ·Competition to develop tourism apps (hackathon)
  • ·Professional conference to mark 7 years of activities in the Druze and Circassian villages
  • ·Panel with Tourism Ministry Regional Directors

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, on opening the tourism conference: “I am pleased to open IMTM, the largest ever tourism fair to be held in Israel.  The size and scope of the fair is testament to the fact that Israel is becoming an attractive destination for tourism and those in the tourism business from around the world.  2016 was a ground-breaking year for tourism to Israel.  The increase in incoming tourism is because of the wide-ranging marketing activities of the Tourism Ministry, which include breaking into new markets and the adoption of innovative marketing strategies, whether in digital marketing or in emerging markets such as China and India. We are in the midst of a transformation in the aviation field, where, as a result of the support offered by the Tourism Ministry to airline companies who open new routes into Israel, Hainan Airlines and Ryanair began flying into Israel for the first time. IMTM will give additional momentum to this trend and will have a positive influence on increasing incoming tourism to Israel in 2017.”

 

 Jerusalem, February 5, 2016 - Tourism Minister Yariv Levin will open Tuesday  the Tourism Ministry stand at IMTM, the International Mediterranean Tourism Market, which will take place at the Tel Aviv Convention Center, Pavilion 2,  from 7-8 February.

 

Ten tourism ministers from around the world will participate in this year’s IMTM – a record number for IMTM -  including after several years’ absence, H.E. Tourism Minister from Turkey, Mr. Nabi Avci, who will meet with Tourism Minister Levin. Other tourism ministers and senior tourism officials attending IMTM come from Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Norway, Romania, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Zanzibar,  Ethiopia,  Lithuania, Philippines and Kazakhstan, among others.

 

The Tourism Ministry is hosting about 200 tour operators and conference organizers from overseas with a view to exposing them to the Israeli tourism product at IMTM, as well as offering them tours of the country. The Tourism Ministry stand will feature various attractions, including a large screen that will list the hotels awarded stars under the Tourism Ministry hotel rating scheme. Tablets will be available for the public to try out the new Tourism Ministry app. The stand will also screen Tourism Ministry videos and TV commercials with the new branding that the ministry is promoting in marketing campaigns overseas. Subsidiaries of the Tourism Ministry will also be exhibiting at the stand: The Dead Sea Preservation Government Company that will present for the first time the branding of the lowest place on earth for investors, as well as the Old Acre Development Company that will present the range of sites and attractions for tourists in the city, including the new Haifa-Acre pleasure cruise line.

 

Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi: “The marketing structure of the Tourism Ministry is currently undergoing great change, both in its organizational structure and in terms of the branding and campaign activities, for example the Two Cities One Break campaign that is targeted at tourism into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, alongside the development of new tourism products such as the “the Land of the Desert” targeted to Europeans in winter. The ministry will continue its’ cooperation with online travel agents, as well as hosting opinion formers – an important additional aspect of marketing Israel as a tourism destination.”

 

For the first time, IMTM will host the TEDxTelAvivSalon about tourism issues. Four lecturers will address the event in English, which will open a door to the world of tourism. Omer Boger will speak about his personal story – how, with the minimum of resources, it is possible to take an abandoned place and transform it into a meeting place for people from around the world. Noam Klinger, CEO of Eatwith, will speak about the new world of tourism, in which visitors seek out authentic experiences and not just attractions. Tzippora Nussbaum will offer a glimpse into the ultra-Orthodox (haredi) world and Dr. Eran Ketter will present how it is possible to overturn a countrywide trend with marketing.

 

For the second time, IMTM will host a Tourism Ministry hackathon, a competition to develop tourism apps. Competition finalists will present their apps before a panel of judges and an audience. The finalists developed tourism apps that are designed to enhance the experience of the visitor and tourist in Israel. Every app makes use of the extensive database provided by the Tourism Ministry for public use. The database currently includes about 25,000 pieces of information. This is the largest database of its type among all the government ministries. The competition winners will receive cash prizes, with the first prize being NIS 10,000.

 

There will also be a panel via Skype with the directors of the Israel Government Tourist Offices in Germany, India and China covering the marketing activities in those destinations.

 

The Tourism Ministry will also hold a conference to mark seven years of activity developing rural tourism in the Druze and Circassian communities. In recent years, the ministry has invested tens of millions of shekel in improving tourism infrastructure and establishing tourism incubators to help small tourism-related businesses in these villages. The conference will include encounters with some of the people behind the success stories in the Druze and Circassian tourism enterprise, as well as tastes of ethnic cuisine and folklore.

 

 

For a full program, see here

IMTM   Pavilion 2, Tel Aviv Convention Center, 101 Rokach Boulevard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An additional stage to reduce the high cost of living in the city:

A program for sharing vehicles in the city is underway.An additional stage to reduce the high cost of living in the city:

 

260 cars will start operating during the second half of 2017 in order to reduce the number of private vehicles in the road.

The budget of this sharing program is about 100 million NIS.

 

 

The program for sharing vehicles in the city is intended to make it easier for the city residents that hold private vehicles at a cost of thousands of NIS per year, and allow them to switch to economical and effective public transportation. During the last quarter of 2017, 260 mini cars will start operating, having 520 parking lots assigned to these cars, and, additionally, allowance sections of (painted with blue and white) also assigned for parking. The vehicles could be rented in one site and returned in another site within the city, while travelling could take place also outside the city borders.

 

As part of the preparations for the first stage of this test, Tel-Aviv Municipality workers will start painting about 80 assigned parking lots throughout the city. This first stage test-run will start at the beginning of March, in which 500 users with about 40 unmarked vehicles will be tested without pay. The first stage run will start in July, in which 1500 users with not more than 170 marked vehicles and 340 assigned parking lots. Then, a special sticker of "Oto- Tel" ("אוטותל") will be placed on the signs "preferred parking place" allowed to the city residents, but now allowed only to the vehicles involved in the test program.

 

The program cost, about 100 million NIS, is financed from the municipal budget. It includes the acquisition of the vehicles, their operation and maintenance. The service fees for the users will be determined near the launching date. The personnel involved in similar programs in the world report that every vehicle included in the program results in the reduction of 4-14 private vehicles in the road. Additionally, since the project has a significant advantage in the metropolitan distribution besides the urban distribution, personnel of other municipalities was addressed in order to take part of this program in the future. The program will be carried out by the CAR2GO Company from the Shagrir (שגריר) Group.

 

This program is another step of in a series of solutions advanced by the municipality in alternative shared transportation that provides a solution to the residents and visitors, for leaving their private vehicles and get mobilized in the city using public transportation only, such as the use of bicycles, and shared vehicles in the future. In this way, the overload in the roads and the air pollution will be reduced, as well as the cost of living.

 

Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv: "the shared vehicle program that we initiated is the first initiative of this type in the country, which demonstrates that we can do it differently. "Oto- Tel" ("אוטותל") is a project that should become national, and that the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Finance should be partners in it. The effectiveness of this program will be much more significant if it could be used throughout the country, or at least in the metropolitan Dan area. I hope that the local authorities around us will join this process, and we are conducting meetings with them on this subject."

 

Meital Lehavi, Deputy to the Mayor on Transportation, Construction and Infrastructures: "Tel Aviv – Jaffa is a pioneer in the development and implementation of the holistic policy that promotes a series options for alternative mobilization, and Tel Aviv residents are the natural and main partners in our voyage to adopt innovative transportation solutions. Such as "Tel Ofan" (bicycle transportation), "Oto- Tel" (vehicle transportation) is intended to provide cooperative economy in the city area and eliminate the dependence between private vehicles and the possibility of moving from place to place. Since there is no 24/7 public transportation, this service will be provided during 364 days per year (excepting Yom Kippur). We will work to widen this program in the metropolitan Dan area as we did with the "Tel Ofan", and, in the future, we will include in this program electrical vehicles".

 

 

 

 

Gil Leizer, CAR2GO CEO: "We are in the midst of a transportation revolution expected to reduce significantly the problems of parking, air pollution and the use of private vehicles in Tel Aviv – Jaffa".

 

Photos Silvia Golan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tourism Ministry to provide free shuttle transport between Jerusalem and Bethlehem for Christmas Mass celebrations 

Tourism Minister today hosted a pre-Christmas reception for Church leaders in Jerusalem

 

 

Jerusalem, December 13, 2016 - Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and representatives from the Tourism Ministry today hosted the traditional pre-Christmas reception for leaders of the Christian communities and churches in Israel at the Shimshon Center,  Beit Shmuel in Jerusalem.  The minister sent season’s greetings for Christmas to the Christian communities and invited the faithful around the world to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

 

 

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: "I welcome you and the believers from your communities who are expected to arrive in Israel for the Christmas holiday and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We are doing our utmost to ensure that their stay in Israel will be successful and enjoyable. The ministry invests significantly throughout the year in the conservation and upgrading of Christian sites in order to ensure that every Christian can visit the sites that are sacred for him and find them in good order, as befits their status. I invite you to visit the holy sites and enjoy the uniquely powerful religious and spiritual experience of the Holy Land."

 

 

Also participating in the reception were the Director-General of the Tourism Ministry Amir Halevi, His Beatitude Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III, the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Nourhan Manoogian, the Custodian of the Holy Land Fr. Francesco Patton, His Eminence Vatican Ambassador Giuseppe Lazzarotto , representative of the Latin Patriarchate Bishop William Shumali – Latin Patriarchate, Executive Director of the Christian Embassy Dr. Jurgen Buhler and representatives from many other Christian communities in Israel. Also in attendance were Ambassadors, members of the diplomatic community and representatives of

government and private bodies involved in promoting Christian tourism to the Holy Land.

 

The Tourism Ministry is working to welcome the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to arrive in Israel for the Christmas period. According to Tourism Ministry statistics, over half of all incoming tourists to Israel were Christian. The ministry estimates that approximately 120,000 tourists will visit Israel in December, of whom half are Christian.

 

 

From 15:00 on Christmas Eve (December 24) through to 03:00 on Christmas Day, the Ministry of Tourism will offer free shuttle transportation, helping pilgrims travelling between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Buses will leave every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour from the bus stop near the Carta Parking lot (opposite Jaffa Gate and near to the Mamilla Boulevard). The bus will also stop near the entrance to the Mar Elias Monastery, and at the Rosmarin junction, before continuing via Rachel's Crossing to Bethlehem - and then back again.  There may be changes to the schedule due to demand. Representatives from the Ministry of Tourism will welcome tourists and pilgrims at Rachel’s Crossing with a small gift in the spirit of the holiday. The ministry will also provide a firework display during the traditional Christmas parade in Nazareth.

 
 
 

Photo credit: Jorge Novominsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: “The increase in tourist entries to Israel is the result of significant budgets that were allocated for marketing and attractive campaigns, investment in new markets and the development of relevant sub-brands for different target markets.”

 

Jerusalem, January 9, 2017 – Against the security background in the Middle East and despite the drop in incoming tourism in many countries in the region, Israel registered a 3.6% increase in incoming tourism for 2016, with 2.9 million tourist entries. The Tourism Ministry is not surprised by these statistics and attributes the increase to a strategic shift in marketing and an increase in the marketing budget.

 

The marketing program adopted by the Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and implemented under the direction of Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi focused on creating demand in Israel tourism by building sub-brands suited to different target markets, supported by wide-ranging campaigns and including new markets such as India and China which have each registered increases of tens of percent in incoming tourism. The Tourism Ministry also promoted collaborations with the largest international online travel agents such as Expedia and TripAdvisor. In addition, the ministry worked with international airlines to expose them to the economic potential of opening routes to Israel and, among others, by giving incentives for every passenger flying into Ovda and for opening new routes into Ben Gurion airport.

 

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: “The increase does not come from thin air. The increase in tourist entries to Israel is the result of significant budgets that were allocated for marketing and attractive campaigns, investment in new markets and the development of relevant sub-brands for different target markets. The strategic plans are adapted to fluctuations and changes in the tourism industry worldwide. I will continue to advance the activities of the ministry with strategic international partners so that the tourism market in Israel will continue to develop and flourish.”

 

With a budget of nearly half a billion shekels - the highest ever for tourism marketing – the focus was placed on campaigns in key markets with the highest numbers of incoming tourism and the largest potential for additional growth, such as USA, Russia, Germany, France, England and others. This, alongside investment in new and significant markets with high potential for increased tourism, particularly India and China.

 

In addition to the marketing campaigns, Hainan Airlines, the largest private airline in China, opened a new route into Israel and one can see an increase of tens of percent in tourism traffic. The expenditure of the Chinese tourist in Israel is the largest of all countries, injecting revenue into the local economy. For the first time this year, a tourism campaign ran in India, gaining millions of views. According to Google, the exposure to the campaign promoting tourism to Israel came close to the exposure of the campaign for the Pepsi drinks brand.

 

Increase in tourism from countries with new air routes and advertising campaigns:

The period September through December 2016 saw a record in the number of incoming tourists. The countries which registered the most significant increase in the number of tourist entries as opposed to the previous year were: China (+69%); Croatia (+62%); Belarus, Latvia and Georgia (+41%), Malaysia (+35%) and the Philippines (+ 27%). The USA and Russia continue to lead in the numbers of incoming tourists, followed by France, UK, Germany and Ukraine .

 

Tourism to Eilat doubles:

  • Flights to Eilat from 9 European cities – because of the ministry directive that offers a 45 Euro subsidy to every passenger flying into Ovda in the current winter season, with a total budget of NIS 18 million.
  • Anticipated doubling of tourist entries arriving on direct flights into Ovda this winter season, as opposed to 42,000 in the winter season 2015/2016.
  • NIS 10 million advertising campaigns promoting the new Eilat brand in UK, Finland, Russia, France and Poland, with a dedicated website in English, Russian, Finnish and French : www.traveleilat.com
  • Because of the ministry’s activities, Eilat was ranked seventh by TripAdvisor in a list of destinations on the rise.

New Markets

India

  • For the first time, an advertising campaign in India to encourage tourism to Israel – the video had tens of millions of hits for minimal promotional cost. The YouTube video has over 11.7 million views
  • The marketing budget stood at NIS15m in 2016
  • Israel won a prize from the Indian Travel + Leisure Magazine as the best destination for history and heritage
  • According to Google and YouTube, as a result of the campaign, the brand Israel competes with other leading brands in India such as Pepsi

China

  • Israel won the 2016 Best Destination in Chinese media awards.
  • Hainan Airlines, the largest private airline in China, opened its route from Beijing-Tel Aviv in April 2016
  • Hainan recently added another weekly flight and is planning to open a route from Shanghai
  • The marketing budget rose dramatically in 2016 to about NIS 20m.
  • The increased tourism traffic from China and India injected tems of millions of shekel into the Israeli economy in 2016 and this is expected to significantly increase in the future.

Renewing Existing Markets

Campaigns in Europe

  • After many years of hiatus, advertising campaigns ran in Holland, Scandinavia and Spain.
  • Two Cities One Break – a new and comprehensive campaign with a budget of NIS 80 million that ran simultaneously in 8 European countries, promoting the city break concept in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The campaign, which starred Israeli model Shir Elmaliach, ran on TV, billboards and in print, with a focus on digital media. The concept offers Europeans two destinations on one ticket, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. From data based on the first round of the campaign, there were 1.9 million unique visitors and 4.5 million clicks from 9 countries. More than 24.5 million views were recorded for the campaign video. Example: https://youtu.be/_dBNXPfdePs

Campaigns in USA

  • The NIS 50 million USA campaign targets Evangelical, Catholic and Jewish audiences in New York, LA, Atlanta and Florida, with a particularly high budget for online promotion.

Aviation

  • New Hainan Airlines route from Beijing
  • New Wizzair route from Warsaw
  • New Ryanair route from Bratislava
  • New EasyJet route from Amsterdam
  • New United Airlines route from San Francisco
  • New Ryanair route from Paphos
  • Declaration by Cathay Pacific to open new route from Hong Kong in two more months

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin defined the increase of seat capacity on flights into Israel as a significant target for the ministry. In 2017, significant budgets will be allocated to promoting new routes from Europe into Ovda and Ben Gurion airports.

 

Collaboration with online travel agents

  • TripAdvisor, Expedia, Odigeo
  • Payment to agents based on sales results
  • Adjusting to the market reversal – 60% of tourists arrive independently and not in organized groups

There have been marked changes in incoming tourism in recent years, with most tourists today arriving independently (FITs), about 60%, as opposed to arriving as part of a group. In addition, they purchase their own land and air arrangements through online travel agencies. The ministry adapted itself to this trend, with a NIS 18.5 million investment in collaboration with the largest companies such as Expedia, TripAdvisor, Edreams and Odigeo. Payment is based on results and not on advertising.

 

Promoting sports events as a tourism engine

  • Campaigns on Eurosport during the Tour de France
  • About 3,000 tourists participated in the Jerusalem Marathon
  • Hosting journalists from around the world to cover sporting events
  • Hosting journalists who cycle to cover new cycling routes

Hostings in 2016

The Ministry hosted more than 2000 opinion-formers, decision-makers, celebrities and travel agents, of whom 70% were journalists.

  • Among the most well-known: Bollywood producers, Roseanne Barr, Bollywood star Sunam Kapoor, stars of the youth series The Green House, American Jazz ensembles for Winter Jam, 2016 Eurovision participants and more
  • Hosting of production of popular reality shows from Europe and USA
  • Hosting cyclists to ride the new cycling routes in the desert
  • Hosting chefs and journalists for the Round Tables event
  • Hosting the conference for Indian travel agents (TAFI)
  • Hosting the Romanian travel agents conference
  • Hosting journalists for a variety of events, such as Tel Aviv Pride Parade, the Opera Festival in Jerusalem and Acre, Midburn Festival, Bird Festival in Eilat, Israel Trail, Open Houses in Jerusalem, Yoga in the Arava and more
  • Hosting large conferences of travel agents and tour operators from India, China, Philippines, Russia, Ukraine, Japan and more

Tourism by Source Country

As in previous years, tourism from the USA continued to represent the largest country of origin for incoming tourism to Israel, with 648,310 tourist entries in 2016, 5% more than 2015 and 8% more than in 2014. In second place is tourism from Russiawith 440,358 visitors, a decrease of 1% on 2015 and 21% on 2014. Tourism from France takes third place, with 287,450 tourist entries, 2% less than last year and 1% down on 2014, followed by the United Kingdom with 181,346 (4% up on 2015 and 10% up on 2014) and Germany with 164,076 tourist entries, 3% more than 2015 and 1% more than 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The promotional event for the COSMOPROF exhibition, which took place on December 5th, brought together the top producers and local importers in the cosmetic and beauty product industries with senior representatives of the international exhibition and representatives of the Union of Italian Cosmetic Manufacturers, Cosmetica Italia. The goal of this first meeting was to lay the groundwork for an international cosmetics exhibition to take place in March 2017.

 

Representatives of the Italian Trade Agency, in cooperation with the organizers of COSMOPROF Bologna and with the assistance of the Israel Export Institute, held the first event of its kind in Israel on December 5th in Tel Aviv.  Among the guests were Gigi Cosmetic Laboratories Deputy General Manager Haim Zer, Orly Sagi, Christina Israel Cosmetics Manager, Dr. Dov Klein and Cinzia Klein from Clinica Dr Klein, Sharon Baruch Manager Dr Klein Cosmetics , business development executive Israel Chamber Na’ama Myers, and John L. Pezzino from Sanwa Packaging. 

 

The goals of the event were to advance commercial partnerships between Israel and Italy, and the event included tens of leading producers and local importers in the cosmetics and beauty products industry, senior representatives of the international exhibition and representatives of the Union of Italian Cosmetic Manufacturers, Cosmetica Italia, the Italian Ambassador to Israel, and the head of the Italian Trade Agency in Israel.

 

 

 

During the event, the representative of the COSMOPROF exhibition, Antonia Benvegnu, presented the innovations anticipated in the 50th version of the exhibition. Manzetti Gianni, the representative of the Union of Italian Cosmetics Producers, offered information on cosmetics in Italy and on the strengths of the Italian cosmetics industry. Mr. Gianni is also the owner of the large hair product company Farmen ICD. Franceso Maria Talo, spoke about the commercial ties between Israel and Italy in the cosmetics and beauty products industries. In addition, Michele M. Superchi, from the trend finding company BeautyStreams, presented a forecast on what to expect in beauty product innovations at the next exhibition.

 

The event was intended to strengthen ties and networking between local producers and importers and Italian representatives. Of the participants, a select group was chosen to fly to Bologna as guests of the Italian Trade Agency to participate in the largest beauty exhibition in the world, COSMOPROF Worldwide Bologna.

 

Participation in the exhibition provides Israeli producers an opportunity to present the most cutting edge cosmetic and beauty products to the Italian market and to sign strategic business partnerships.

 

The COSMOPROF exhibition is the most important cosmetics expo in the world, and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Every year thousands of producers from all over the globe attend the conference in order to develop commercial ties with Italian suppliers in the cosmetics and beauty industries. For example, at the most recent exhibition  over 2,500 companies from 150 countries presented their products in front of 250,000 visitors.

 

 Massimiliano Guido, the head of the Italian Trade Agency in Israel, said that “the large number of Israeli delegates who attended the last COSMOPROF exhibition only strengthened the decision of the Italian Commerce Ministry, the exhibition organizers, and the Union of Italian Cosmetics Producers, to choose Israel as one of the select few locations to host an event of this kind. The Israeli market is intelligent and mature, with a variety of local brands and a large selection of leading international brands, which offer business opportunities for Italian cosmetics companies who wish to enter the Israeli market, as well as Israeli producers interested in entering the global market, and in particular, the Italian market. With such strong mutual interest, consumers, manufacturers and importers all stand to benefit from the increasing Israeli-Italian cooperation. 

 

Photo Silvia Golan