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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."

298,000 VISITOR ENTRIES INTO ISRAEL IN AUGUST (10% MORE THAN AUGUST 2011);
248,000 TOURISTS ARRIVED (10% MORE THAN 2011);
39% INCREASE ON VISITORS ARRIVING ON CRUISE SHIPS

2.3 MILLION VISITORS ARRIVED IN ISRAEL JAN-AUG 2012 (7% INCREASE ON SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR)

Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov: "The intensive work and focused and professional marketing is showing results in the field. Especially during times of economic crisis, tourism proves itself as a growth engine that injects billions of shekels annually into the economy."

Despite the grave global economic crisis and the problematic geopolitical situation in the region, Israel continues to break incoming tourism records. A record number of 2.3 million visitors arrived during the period Jan-Aug 2012, a 7% increase as compared with last year and 5% more than the record year of 2010. Of these entries, a record 1.9 million were tourists, a 4% increase compared with the same period in 2011 and a 7% increase as compared with 2010. 374,000 entries were day visitors, 26% more than the same period last year.

The Foreign Affairs Council adopted today a Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy with an Action Plan for putting it into practice. This is the first time that the European Union has had a unified Strategic Framework for this vital policy area, with such a wide-ranging plan of action for its implementation.


"Human rights are one of my top priorities and a silver thread that runs through everything that we do in external relations. With this comprehensive package we want to enhance the effectiveness and visibility of EU human rights policy. In order to help put the Framework and the Action Plan into practice, I have also proposed the appointment of an EU Special Representative on Human Rights and I look forward to a swift appointment," said Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, upon adoption of the package.

 

The 2012 Magshim Israel Yafa (“Beautiful Israel Award”) was presented to KKL-JNF on the 110th anniversary of its foundation. The festive award ceremony took place at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem last week.

Prior to the official ceremony, 500 guests including KKL-JNF personnel from all over Israel, government ministers, chairmen of regional councils and other dignitaries were welcomed at a garden reception.

The award ceremony was hosted by the journalist Oren Weigenfeld who described the virtues and accomplishments of KKL-JNF and the reasons for its selection for this year’s award: "For building a bridge between the Diaspora Jewry and the State of Israel, and for developing the land so it could be used for inhabitation and for cultivation."

A video clip featured a variety of projects undertaken by KKL-JNF since its establishment. Rivka Michaeli, veteran actress and Rag Bar Natan, actor and comedian, presented KKL’s achievements via humorous skits and songs. However, it was President Peres who stole the show with his witty anecdotes eliciting waves of laughter.

As the world's biggest aid donor, the EU actively supports human rights and democracy:

 

This has a budget of € 1.104 billion for 2007-2013. Its key objectives are to enhance respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in countries and regions where they are most at risk, and to strengthen the role of civil society in promoting human rights and democracy.