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Israel eyes 55,000 Indian tourist arrivals in 2017

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Israel, which witnessed seven per cent increase in tourist arrivals from Asia, is expecting 55,000 Indian tourist arrivals in 2017. India currently ranks as the second biggest market for Israel in Asia. From January to July 2017, the destination has recorded 34,300 Indian tourists, which is expected to touch the 55,000 mark by year-end. Througout 2016, Israel welcomed 44,672 Indian tourist arrivals. From January to July 2017, overall international tourist arrival in Israel has been recorded at 2.1 million.

Hassan Madah, director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India, said, “We are creating awareness and exploring new markets in India to promote Israel. Leisure is the main segment in Israel, however, MICE tourism is also doing good. We have also been witnessing growth in agro-tourism from Maharashtra, Haryana and Gujarat”, adding that the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s to Israel has sparked a renewed interest among Indians to visit Israel.

Expressing optimism about Air India’s flight to Tel Aviv, Hassan informed that an Israeli airline is also planning to launch flights to India. Currently, El Al Israel Airlines operates direct flight from Mumbai, whereas, Turkish Airlines operates from Mumbai and Delhi via Istanbul. Hassan said that Israel Ministry of Tourism is encouraging increased air connectivity to boost tourism.

Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Haifa, Akko, Jerusalem, Eilat, Dead Sea and Masada are the most popular destinations among Indians. “I am pushing Israel Ministry of Tourism to ease visa process for Indians, such as online visa. We are already in the process and it is expected to happen in th next few months. Tourist spend by Indians has also increased , an average India FIT spends US$ 2,500. As part of our promotional efforts, we will also promote Israel packages among OTAs, alongside the Indian travel trade. We still have to develop in the India market, and these roadshows are proving beneficial,” added Hassan.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism recently conducted its second roadshow for 2017 in India – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai.