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Published on : Friday, October 21, 2016
Hoping to tap into the surging tourism markets of China and India, the Israeli Tourism Ministry has stepped up marketing campaigns. The country hopes to attract 100,000 visitors per year from each country by 2018.
“Breaking into the large Asian market—in particular China and India—is one of the main objectives set by the Tourism Ministry,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.
The number of visitors from India and China is rising by 10-13% from year to year, according to the Tourism Ministry.
The Tourism Ministry is especially targeting the growing middle-class sector in those countries, who are looking for unique destinations beyond the United States and Europe.
According to the ministry’s 2015 tourist satisfaction survey, the average tourist to Israel from India spends $2,208 on services in the country while staying 10.3 nights. The same survey showed that 79% of Indian tourists are first-time visitors to Israel.
Israel’s tourism marketing got a boost when in May, Bollywood star and fashion icon Sonam Kapoor made her first visit to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Dead Sea. Indian journalist and author Aditi Mathur Kumar and Bollywood producer Tanuj Garg visited Israel earlier this year on a scouting mission for future productions.
Aviation co-operation between Israel-China will also help Israel’s tourism cause. Hainan Airlines, the largest private airline in China, launched the country’s first direct flight to Israel in April.
Israel in return cancelled fees for tourist groups from China. Chinese tourists, who typically travel in organized groups, can receive a multiple-entry tourist visa valid for up to 10 years, with individual visits of up to 90 days.