23 Nov 2006 14:09:48 GMT
Israel will spend $250 million to double tourism
JERUSALEM, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Israel aims to double the number of foreign
tourists to 4 million over the next five years by spending $250 million on
marketing, the Ministry of Tourism said on Thursday.
Tourism is a key industry for Israel, but tourism numbers fell during the
July-August war with Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon.
Some 1.9 million tourists visited Israel in 2005 and numbers have
begun to rise again after the war.
Consultants Ernst & Young have now presented the Jewish state with its first
comprehensive tourism plan to try to significantly boost visitors, the
ministry said in a statement.
The Ernst & Young report said despite Israel's political and security
situation, Israel could launch a successful campaign by focusing on eight
countries including the United States, Britain, Russia and China.
Other recommendations included making it easier for commercial and charter
flights to come to Israel and revamping hotels by attracting international
hotel chains and more foreign investment in the industry.
"The ministry will implement the plan, by spending $50 million a year on a
worldwide marketing campaign," a spokeswoman for Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog
The budget will more than double the amount of money Israel has spent in past
years on marketing.
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