150 travel agents in town for tourism convention

Week-long conference encourages incoming tourism to Israel.

The Israeli tourism product includes beaches, entertainment, leisure and historical sites.

The Israeli tourism product includes beaches, entertainment, leisure and historical sites.

Some 150 leading tour operators from around the world are in Tel Aviv to participate in the ‘WHERE ELSE: Israel Tourism Convention 2012′ that gets underway today. The week-long conference will take the international travel agents to diverse sites around the country.

The convention is also meant to encourage incoming tourism to Israel.

“There is no doubt that Operation Pillar of Defense affected incoming tourism but we are already taking steps towards swift rehabilitation, minimizing damage and renewing the momentum of incoming tourism over the last three years,” said Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov.

Most of the participants will be visiting Israel for the first time and the objective is to expose them to the Israeli tourism product, with its many opportunities in entertainment, leisure and vacation as well as the niche package options and the possibility of tailoring them to their target markets.

Countries represented at the week-long conference include the US, Brazil, Canada, Belgium, France, UK, Spain, Finland, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, South Africa, China, India and Korea.

The tour operators will visit Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Eilat, Jerusalem, Caesarea, Haifa, Tiberias and the Galilee area.

“According to data from the World Tourism Organization, the growth in world tourism stands at four percent (January-August). Incoming tourism to Israel for the same period is nearly double that figure (7%). This is a result of the focused and intensive marketing activities of the tourism ministry to increase the number of those marketing Israel, to develop new markets and maintain existing ones,” said Misezhnikov.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.