Economy and Tourism
- Written by Steven Aiello
A joyous evening of commerce, cooperation and diplomacy
The President of the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel meets with the new Turkish Ambassador to Israel to strengthen commercial ties between the two nations
The President of the Manufacturers Association, and Honorary Consul of Turkey, Shraga Barosh, held a reception on Wednesday evening, February 22, for the incoming Turkish Ambassador, Mustafa Kemal Okem, in the Association’s elegant lounge, in the company of senior business figures and leading manufacturers.
The goal of the meeting was to recalibrate and strengthen economic and business ties between Israel and Turkey, in light of their fully restored diplomacy relations, highlighted by the recent exchange of ambassadors.
The President of the Association, Mr. Shraga Barosh, gave his greetings and blessings to the Turkish Ambassadors, and expressed his hope that economic cooperation between the two countries, which has flourished through both difficult and prosperous periods, will continue to grow.
Mr. Barosh said: “The commercial relations with Turkey are very important to us. The trade potential and economic cooperation with Turkey has yet to reach its full potential, and there is no doubt that we can look forward to a strengthening, diversification and deepening of economic ties.”
Despite political difficulties between Israel and Turkey in recent years, the economic ties continued unabated. Israel and Turkey enjoy a free trade agreement, and over the last year, Israeli-Turkish trade exceeded 4 billion dollars.
In 2016, Israeli exports reached 1.26 billion dollars, a 25% drop from 2015 figures. Israeli exports primarily consisted of chemical products (75%), plastic and rubber (8%), and machines and electronics (6%).
Turkish exports to Israel reached 2.6 billion dollars, a rise of 6.5% from 2015. The Turkish products included primarily cars and transportation equipment (18.5%), metals (16%), and machines and electronics (13%).
Photo credit: Asaf Shiloh—Israel Sun
Steven Aiello is the founder and Director of the Debate for Peace MUN program
- Written by Ministry of Tourism
The Tourism Ministry and the Municipality of Tel Aviv to inaugurate a luxury Pop Up hotel in a lifeguard tower on Tel Aviv Beach
Renovations on the lifeguard tower will begin in the coming days
International competition to be launched in partnership with
The competition winners will be flown to Israel in March and will stay in the luxury ocean-front hotel suite, complete with the services of a private butlerby the "Brown Hotels" Urban Collection
Tel Aviv, February 21, 2017 - The City of Tel Aviv-Yafo, the Israel Tourism Ministry and the "Brown Hotels" Urban Collection, are launching the first project of its kind in the world. A lifeguard tower on Tel Aviv Beach ("Frishman”) will be transformed into a luxurious hotel suite, in which the guests will be winners of an international competition to be launched in partnership with Hotels.com.
This unique accommodation will be provided to the competition winners (one couple from each country) who will be flown to Israel for a four-day vacation in Tel Aviv, during the period . Their first night will be spent inside the lifeguard tower at Frishman Beach, which will be renovated to meet the criteria of a five-star hotel. Guests will enjoy all the usual amenities, including a personal butler, pampering shower, breakfast, and even room service.
This joint initiative of the Israel Tourism Ministry, the City of Tel Aviv-Yafo and Global Tel Aviv will showcase Israel as a leading tourist destination in the winter and shoulder seasons.
The marketing campaign will be implemented by the Tourism Ministry as part of the ongoing Two Cities One Break campaign, promoting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in countries that have been defined as potential targets for increasing tourism.
How to take part in the competition?
Participants in the international competition in partnership with Hotels.com are invited to upload a photo of themselves to Instagram, against the background of their city, wearing the beach gear (bathing suits, flip flops, etc.) that they would take with them to Tel Aviv. In addition, they must be photographed with a sign bearing the hash tag "#TAKEME2TELAVIV"and an explanation why they deserve to win this unique hosting. The participants must register on the competition website http://en.citiesbreak.com/. The most creative and viral submissions will be selected by the project committee.
Minister of Tourism, Yariv Levin: “Over the last two years, the Ministry of Tourism has revolutionized its marketing approach and now we are breaking into new niche markets and developing fresh, creative marketing campaigns, especially in social media. As part of our Two Cities One Break campaign, this project aims to encourage incoming tourism to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Each city has its own unique attributes, and in Tel Aviv, we are focusing on the nonstop nightlife, the growing culinary scene, and its famous beaches. We are in the midst of an increase in
incoming tourism, and we closed out 2016 with a 4% rise in tourism"
Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ron Huldai: “The transformation of a lifeguard tower into a luxury hotel for tourists is a perfect example of the innovation that drives Tel Aviv-Yafo’s success - in tech, in tourism, and in lifestyle. This unique project takes advantage of Tel Aviv-Yafo’s world-renowned beaches in an exciting and creative way, giving us an additional tool in our daily efforts to promote the city as a top international tourist destination".
The Lifeguard Tower’s Design:
Exterior: Edgar Rafael Interior: Aline Langlieb
- Written by Ministry of Tourism
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 .
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.
- Written by Israel Diamond Exchange
The IDE held a festive opening ceremony for the Sixth International Diamond Week in the trading hall which had been redesigned for the buyers.
IDE President Yoram Dvash: "The present is the only time to create our reality and that's what we are doing today."
The ceremony was attended by Tourism Minister Yariv Levin , IDE President Yoram Dvash, President of ALROSA, Andrei Zharkov, Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association President Kobi Korn, IDI Chairman Shmuel Schnitzer, DDCNY President Reuven Kaufman, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, senior members of the Israeli and foreign diamond trade.
In addition, there were 220 representatives from Israel and 388 buyers from 30 countries, including the US, China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Turkey, Belgium.
Yariv Levin praised the organizers of the event as well as the buyers who had arrived from abroad. "The presence of so many foreign buyers is testament to the importance of the Israeli diamond trade despite the difficulties it is facing at the moment. Israel has a long tradition as a pioneer both in diamonds and in tourism."
He said that the Israeli diamantaires were ambassadors for Israel. He also told the foreign buyers to find the time to travel around Israel and take in its sights.
Yoram Dvash said: "I am delighted to see the trading hall today and all our friends from Israel and abroad and to open the Diamond Week. We are here to do the thing we do best: buying and selling diamonds. It's in our DNA. We hope that we will go from strength to strength."
Dvash also spoke of the improving business atmosphere following the signing of the tax agreement in December with the Tax Authority, the strong marketing initiatives that the bourse is carrying out and the Internet trading platform, James Allen and Get Diamonds.
In addition, he mentioned the factory for the cutting of large diamonds that the bourse created, the recently opened Sinova laser cutting center, and the International Tender Center that will be opened on Wednesday.
"The state of the international markets doesn't depend on us, but we are here to provide you with the biggest, most professional and best platforms in marketing, rough, trade shows, tenders and technology.
He also thanked all the guests from abroad, heads of delegations, senior partners in the Israeli diamond sector, Kobi Korn and Shmuel Schnitzer, the Chairman of the IDWI Organizing Committee, Chaim Volner, and Miki Kattan. "Colleagues, we can't change the past and can't forecast the future.
"The present is the time to create reality, and that is exactly what we are doing every day and today as well with the taking place of this Diamond Week. I would like to wish us all well."
ALROSA President Andrei Zharkov said: "I thank you all for the warm reception. I am very happy to be here with you. It's a great pleasure and responsibility to be here as CEO of ALROSA which will be holding tenders of rough and polished goods this week. We are looking forward to fruitful cooperation with our friends here. We feel at home here in Israel. I wish you all a successful week on behalf of ALROSA and myself."
Shmuel Schnitzer said: "The bourse is full of action today. I really hope that this Diamond Week and others like it will lead to increased activity in the trading hall and the new International Tenders Center. This is undoubtedly a welcome initiative and I wish all strength to the bourse president, Yoram Dvash, and the management team. This year looks promising and I wish us all great success."
Kobi Korn wished the participants success as did DDCNY Reuven Kaufman who said Israel was like home for him.
Heavy Traffic on Trading Floor on Day 2 at IDWI
Tender Center Opens, IDE Signs MOU with HKJMA, DPA CEO Presents Strategic Direction
Ramat Gan, Israel, February 14, 2017: The trading floor of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) continued to see heavy traffic on the second day of the 6th International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI). The mood was upbeat, reflecting a lively trading atmosphere.
Beyond the trading floor several events took place during the day. The IDE inaugurated its new state-of-the-art International Tender Center with a small ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by Alrosa President Andrey Zharkov and local diamond leaders. IDE President Yoram Dvash said that the new tender center is intended to bring many additional rough and polished diamond tenders to Israel, avoiding the necessity of Israeli companies having to travel to participate in these sales.
Later in the day a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the young generation forums of the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers’ Association (HKJMA) and the IDE for cooperation and business promotion. IDE President Yoram Dvash cited the longstanding business cooperation between the diamond industries of Israel and Hong Kong. “We feel very close to you based on shared values. The young generation of both our countries have a great future. We can grow together,” he said. The MOU was signed by Dvash and by Kevin Ng, head of the Young Generation Forum of HKJMA.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers’ Association (DPA) gave a presentation outlining the strategic direction of their generic diamond marketing program targeting Millennials and discussed plans for 2017. He invited members of the Israeli diamond industry to make use of the marketing materials produced by the DPA and to interact with him with suggestions and concerns. He also invited diamond industry organizations to partner with the DPA on joint programs.
The second day of IDWI concluded with a festive cocktail reception at the Leonardo City Tower Hotel for all participants.
In a festive ceremony (February 14), the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) officially opened the new International Tender Center. The new facility is to consolidate under one roof as many polished and rough tenders as possible
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Photos by Silvia Golan
Photo 1 : Opening to Sixth International Diamond Week, IDE President Yoram Dvash
Photo 2 : The Russian crown in Israel , Price estimated $20.000.000. Is a replica of the Great Imperial Crown of the Russian Empire, created by Russia’s leading diamond manufacturer Kristall in honor of its 250th anniversary, exhibited at the sixth International Diamond Week in Israel
The crown, contains 11,352 polished diamonds, with a total weight of 1,180 carats. All of the polished diamonds are made from Alrosa rough.
Photo 3 : IDE President Yoram Dvash , Shlomo Eshed ,President, Israel Precious Stones and Diamonds Exchange & Eli Izhakoff one of the international diamond and jewelry industry’s most prominent leaders
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- Written by Silvia Golan
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