Economy and Tourism
- Written by Ministry of Tourism
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Written by Ministry of Tourism
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
- Written by Ministry of Tourism
Tourism Ministry to host about 130 tour operators from around the world - most of them on their first visit to Israel - . The Where Else 2016 convention, taking place for sixth consecutive year, will expose Israel as a leading tourism destination.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin: "I welcome the convention participants and attach great importance to exposing Israel as an attractive tourism destination and showing the many advantages that Israel has to offer - an excellent climate, varied entertainment and leisure options and fascinating tourist sites throughout the country. I am sure that the participants will be
impressed by all that Israel has to offer and will bring many more tourists to visit Israel in their footsteps."
The annualWhere Else convention hosted by the Tourism Ministry will open this year with a gala evening on Thursday, December 1 in Tel Aviv, with the participation of the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Ron Huldai and the Tourism Minister Director-General Amir Halevi. About 130 leading international tour operators will take part in various tours around the country, visiting the main tourist sites.
The week-long convention is held in cooperation with El Al, regional tourism associations, the Hotels Association and the Incoming Tour Operators Association. Most of the participants have never visited Israel before, and the objective is to expose them to Israel's varied tourism options and its leisure, culture and entertainment possibilities, alongside the many niche package options.
The participants come from a variety of different countries, including USA, Brazil, Canada, France, UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, China, India, Japan, Korea, Argentina, Mexico and Romania. Most of them represent companies who have yet to sell Israel as a tourism package.
The participants can choose between various tour options around the country, in accordance with their interests and preferences. Professional workshops are also on offer with local tour operators and hoteliers.
- Written by Silvia G Golan
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.
Photo Silvia Golan
- Written by KKL
Earlier this week, during the dates of November 27-29th, the 7th Eilat-Eilot Renewable and Clean Energy -Conference took place in the Dan Eilat hotel. Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael - Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) representatives participated in the conference in their capacity as leaders and innovators in the field of green energy and conservation of natural resources.
During the last couple of years, KKL-JNF has entered the field of renewable energy in order to conserve the environment and develop green and efficient power sources. At the Eilat-Eilot Renewable and Clean Energy Conference, KKL-JNF representatives participated in the opening session with the Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, Mr. Yuval Steinitz, Chairman of the IEC (Israel Electric Company) Board of Directors, Mr. Yiftah Ron Tal and other officials from the energy sector and governmental offices.
Land Assembly Director, Alex Hefetz stated: "During the past years KKL-JNF has entered the field of renewable energy and has invested a significant amount in the field of solar farms, the big and the small. KKL-JNF sees renewable energy as a vision of modern Zionism and we wish luck to all companies attending which support and promote the use of green energy".
Photo Land Assembly Director Alex Hefetz
Credit Dina Yitzhak / KKL