Israeli Tourism Ministry Boost Public Relations

Editorial from Fred Schlomka:
Hopefully some of the tourist traffic generated from this public relations campaign will result in some people visiting the Palestinian Territories. Unfortunately the entire tourist industry in Israel seems to steer people away from the West Bank, and tour agencies and Israeli guides often advise visitors not to to there.


Tourism Ministry representatives, headed by Director General Shaul Tzemach, will meet tourism industry and media representatives in North America over the coming days in order to strengthen and maintain incoming tourism from the US.
Director General of the Tourism Ministry Shaul Tzemach and senior representatives from the ministry's Marketing Administration, left today for the States in order to strengthen and maintain incoming tourism from the States. During their stay, they will meet with tourism industry and local media representatives, as well as directors of the local Israel Government Tourist Offices, in order to coordinate the 17 million shekel marketing campaign that is about to be launched.
The goal of the marketing plan is to strengthen incoming tourism from North America, which has been affected recently by the global economic crisis and the operation in Gaza. The US marketing campaign is part of the Tourism Ministry's intensive marketing activities about to be launched in Germany, Russia, Italy and France with a total budget of 26 million shekel. The goal is to position Israel as a safe and attractive tourism destination.
The Tourism Ministry representatives will meet with community leaders, media representatives and opinion-formers in the Christian world, within the framework of the annual conference of Christian communicators (NRB) that opens Friday, 6.2.09 in Nashville, Tennessee. 6,000 Christian communicators, including the main television and radio stations, opinion-formers and members of the clergy who appear before millions of viewers around the world, are expected to participate in the conference.
Director General of the Tourism Ministry Shaul Tzemach: "The operation in Gaza, the global economic crisis and the subsequent competition between countries over the potential tourist has created a new, difficult and competitive reality. Whoever wants to win over the potential tourist must act in accordance with this new reality. During the next few months, the Tourism Ministry will work with the Finance Ministry in increasing marketing budgets for all the main countries generating incoming tourist traffic."
North America is the largest source of incoming tourism to Israel, with about 700,000 tourists visiting Israel in 2008, an increase of about 16% over 2007. About 50% of these tourists are Christian Evangelists.


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