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THE TOURISM MINISTRY LAUNCHES A NEW CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE INCOMING TOURISM, LED BY ISRAELI ACTRESS NOA TISHBY: ISRAELIS WILL BE ASKED TO INVITE FRIENDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO VISIT ISRAEL, USING VIDEO CLIPS AND POSTCARDS VIA A DEDICATED TOURISM MINISTRY WEBSITE; THE INCENTIVE – 200 VACATION PACKAGES IN ISRAEL.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov: "This is a national campaign that combines Zionism with the tourism industry's economic value to the economy and employment, without cynicism. We are expecting widespread participation and believe that everyone can leverage the power of influence on their surroundings in order to bring more tourists to Israel. Incoming tourism contributes about NIS 18 billion annually, creates thousands of new jobs mainly in the periphery and serves to improve Israel's image." The Tourism Ministry announces the launch for a new NIS 6 million campaign to promote incoming tourism. The campaign, entitled "Invite a friend" will encourage Israeli residents and Israelis overseas to encourage friends, family and colleagues from around the world to visit Israel. Those taking part in the campaign will send out invitations to visit Israel via a dedicated website launched by the Tourism Ministry. The website includes video clips and postcards specially created for the campaign, complete with interesting information about Israel. Everyone sending a postcard via the website is eligible for a lottery, with prizes of vacations in Israel.

The 9 week campaign, in cooperation with Keshet Broadcasting and the Mako website, is expected to go live on 23 October at www.kol1mevi1.org.il . The more invitations issued via Facebook, Twitter or email, the more chance of winning one of the 200 vacation packages offered by the Mako website in the lottery.

The Tourism Ministry believes that Israelis will take advantage of this opportunity to help promote incoming tourism and will rise to the challenge, out of an understanding of the importance to the economy: for every 36 tourists, one new job is created and NIS 225,000 injected into the economy. A record number of tourists arrived in Israel in the months January – August 2012: 2.3 million, 7% more than the same period last year.

The Tourism Ministry selected Israeli actress Noa Tishby to lead the campaign, because of her activities to promote Israel's image overseas and her work in bringing opinion-formers to visit Israel. Tishby volunteers her time to promote Israel's image and writes about the country on her official blog, social media and appears at conferences in the United States.