Tel Aviv – Beyond the Beach
A number of trends have recently emerged in the shaping and development of Tel Aviv’s catalogue of tourism offerings, with the following changes in particular impacting the field and offering a fresh perspective on what visitors want when traveling to the city.

Destination City
“Tel Aviv is a young, vibrant city, bursting with stories, unique flavors, a thriving hospitality industry and a unique economy, filled with startups and artistic expression,” says Ronit Copeland, Managing Director for Copeland Hospitality, an international hospitality and leisure consulting firm. YouthfulCities, a global initiative ranking the world’s top youthful cities, has placed Tel Aviv at number 14 in their 2016 top youthful cities survey, backing up this statement. “But the city’s appeal reaches far beyond the beachfront and even the activity on Rothschild Boulevard, as visitors strive for a local connection to the city and its communities, which holds greater appeal on their agenda.”

An increasing trend in city break vacations, specifically Israel’s “Two Cities, One Break” campaign, has resulted in 1.9 million visitors entering the country last year. “People want more experiences in less time, and this starts with accommodation. Take the Poli House Hotel as an example, a chic boutique property located adjacent to Carmel Market, in the heart of authentic Tel Aviv,” outlines Copeland. “It’s a blend of quirky design and cool parties, in a location that connects with its communities and meets the desires of visitors who want to walk the alleyways, immerse with the locals and sense a place during that moment of time. We will continue to see many of these types of property spring up.”

The Blurred Hotel Definition
According to the Tel Aviv Hotel Association, around 800 hotel rooms were added across Tel Aviv during 2016, with more to be inaugurated in 2017, bringing new concepts to light. “It is more critical than ever to bring something new to the hotel table,” says Copeland. “With a huge influx of new properties comes greater competition, meaning a greater need for a unique selling point, more of which we are starting to see.”
Fattal’s NYX has strategically branded itself as more than “just a hotel,” by providing amenities spanning a visiting tattoo artist and barbershop, to arcade machines and a rooftop with projector for movie screenings. “It’s a very millennial concept to combine a traditional hotel’s offering with a thriving social scene, providing more than just a place for guests to sleep.”

Similarly, the Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv offers a diverse range of accommodation options, from shared dorms and facilities to private rooms, and hosts daily events in its communal spaces, including Friday night dinners, concerts and various workshops, in turn creating a multi-conceptual approach in attracting visitors and the local community to a common space.

New Luxury is the Experience
“The new-age type of traveler is looking for a new-age type of luxury, not defined by a large suite and over the top furnishings, but a fashionable environment where you can kick off your shoes and enjoy authentic hospitality,” explains Copeland. “I call these types of people ‘flash packers’ - they have a higher budget than the traditional backpacker, but would rather spend this on a unique experience than on old-school luxury.” The W Hotel in Jaffa, set to open later in the year, is described as blending lifestyle, location and hospitality amid the classic backdrop of Tel Aviv. “This hotel is promising to be something special, a mix of substance and style, with a hi-tech fast pace experience interjected with flashes of personality everywhere.”

Another new hotel opening this year, The Drisco, will showcase influences from a bygone era, befitting the needs of current day visitors by offering an elegant space that intermingles with the traditional surroundings of the American Colony, the historical Tel Aviv district where it is located. “These types of hotels attract an eclectic, often bohemian crowd, who appreciate a contemporary form of luxury that is flexible to their need to experience Tel Aviv’s vibe though meeting, eating, playing and relaxing.”

Smart Hotels
The Smart Hotel trend has been growing in Israel in general, and particularly in Tel Aviv, where more and more properties are implementing new types of communication systems - for example the Sheraton Tel Aviv’s on-demand guest WhatsApp messaging platform - all with a common goal to transform the function of their services. “Smart luxury is a concept that many travelers have come to expect from a hotel now, more so than traditional elements,” Says Copeland. In illustration of this, the Setai Tel Aviv, scheduled to open later in the year, has implemented Smart features across every aspect of its hotel, including a lighting system in each room to suit individual preferences, and laptop television connection.

A Food Revolution
The culinary scene in Tel Aviv has been flourishing in recent years, with new eateries, chef restaurants and markets opening throughout the year. “I predict street market and food carts will be the next big trend in this city. With regulation now less of an issue, food carts will join the culinary experience within the next two years and in some cases, will operate as an extension of hotel facilities.” The CuCu Hotel, located in the center of the Dizengoff district, has already demonstrated something similar with Cafe Castel at its entrance: “It’s a popular coffee and snacking spot that serves as a colorful backdrop to take a shopping break, and it’s always busy.” Another example is EatWith, a social dining platform where visitors can dine with locals and meet other internationals over a common interest, a concept hailed by Vogue as the “Airbnb of Dining.”





















Current News

Tel Aviv Convention Center
Founded in the 1920s, the Tel Aviv Convention Center has resided at its permanent location on Rokach Blvd. since the 1960s, where it stands surrounded by ornamental gardens and green landscapes. “We are the largest and most contemporary exhibition center in Israel, a space spanning 50,000 square meters across flexible exhibition halls and expansive outdoor space,” says CEO of the Tel Aviv Convention Center, Tamir Dayan. “Our most recently constructed section is Pavilion 2, erected two years ago, covering 6,000 square meters and surpassing international standards in terms of modernity, technology and security.” All halls and pavilions on site are operated by a centralized control panel and offer smart technology, Wifi with individual hotspots and fiber optic speed, monitored air conditioning, pay by mobile parking and onsite registration. International Operations & Marketing “The International Operations department was launched earlier in the year with the idea to implement new...

Tel Aviv – Beyond the Beach
A number of trends have recently emerged in the shaping and development of Tel Aviv’s catalogue of tourism offerings, with the following changes in particular impacting the field and offering a fresh perspective on what visitors want when traveling to the city. Destination City “Tel Aviv is a young, vibrant city, bursting with stories, unique flavors, a thriving hospitality industry and a unique economy, filled with startups and artistic expression,” says Ronit Copeland, Managing Director for Copeland Hospitality, an international hospitality and leisure consulting firm. YouthfulCities, a global initiative ranking the world’s top youthful cities, has placed Tel Aviv at number 14 in their 2016 top youthful cities survey, backing up this statement. “But the city’s appeal reaches far beyond the beachfront and even the activity on Rothschild Boulevard, as visitors strive for a local connection to the city and its communities, which...

Charlie Airlines Larnaca to Tel Aviv Flights
Cyprus airline Charlie Airlines has commenced direct flights from Larnaca to Tel Aviv, with three weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

Hainan Airlines Shanghai to Tel Aviv
Hainan Airlines is to launch a direct flight from Shanghai to Tel Aviv starting September 12 and operating three days a week, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is the first airline to offer a direct regular service between Shanghai and Tel Aviv. This is airline’s second China-Israel route, following the introduction of Beijing-Tel Aviv flights about one year ago, and the first route ever connecting Shanghai and Israel. Hainan operates four weekly frequencies between Beijing to Tel Aviv, with six weekly flights scheduled from September.

Wizz Air Timisoara Flights to Tel Aviv
Low cost Hungarian airline Wizz Air has announced a new direct route from Timisoara, Romania to Tel Aviv, commencing October 30 with two weekly flights on Mondays and Fridays. This is the airline’s fifth route from Romania to Tel Aviv, with other direct country departures from Bucharest, Craiova, Cluj-Napoca and Lasi.

Terminal 1 Reopens at Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion Airport Terminal 1 has reopened following four months of upgrades, including advanced check-in, baggage-drop service, security checks and passport control. The reconstruction also includes a selection of duty free stores, cafés and restaurants. Israir’s Tel Aviv to Lisbon flight was the first to operate from the renovated terminal.

El Al Malaga Flights to Tel Aviv
El Al has launched the first direct flight between Malaga in Spain and Tel Aviv, operating on Thursdays and Sundays until the end of October.

El Al Expands Code Share Agreements
El Al has signed a number of code share agreements with Aeroméxico, Australian airline Qantas and Portuguese airline TAP, in addition to expanding its agreement with Thai Airways, during the recent International Air Transport Association (IATA) conference in Mexico. CEO of El Al David Maimon, said: “The agreements reflect El Al’s strategy to operate as a global company...

Israel in TravelandLeisure.com
Travelandleisure.com recently published an article entitled “A Culinary Renaissance in the Israeli Countryside,” relaying the personal account of reporter Saki Knafo on his recent trip to Israel. Cited establishments included: boutique hotels Akkotel and Efendi in Acre, Carmey Avdat Farm near Sde Boker, Uri Jeremias’ Uri Buri restaurant and the Endomela ice cream shop (both in Acre), home-style...

Tel Aviv in MarieClaire.HU
Tel Aviv has been featured on Marieclaire.HU, the Hungarian site for Marie Claire.The article, entitled “Tel Aviv, the Rainbow-colored ‘White City,’” focused on things to do, eat and see during Pride Week in the city, mentioning the parade, The Poli House Hotel, Hotel Montefiore, Carmel Market, Rothschild-Allenby Market, Meir Adoni’s Blue Sky restaurant, Delicatessen on Yehuda Halevi St., the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Ga’ash Beach, north of Tel Aviv.

Jaffa Spread in Wizz Magazine
Jaffa has been featured across an 11 page spread in Wizz Air’s Wizz Magazine. The article, entitled “Tel Aviv’s New Old Town,” refers to the “distinctive quirky and eclectic” feel of the region. Among its references are: Margosa Hotel, W Tel Aviv, Setai Tel Aviv, Market House hotel, the Noga district, Raz Rahav’s OCD restaurant and Georgian restaurant Tash & Tasha, as well as where to shop in Jaffa.

Jerusalem in Vogue.com
Jerusalem has been cited on Vogue.com as a city that is “a seriously modern destination,” with “…a refreshing crop of boutique hotels, unexpected culinary experiences, and hip bars.” The article highlighted Villa Brown Jerusalem and Gordonia Private Hotel for accommodations, HaSadna, Muma, Anna, Party Zuta and Gatsby as places to eat and drink and the Mamilla Hotel’s Akasha Spa for indulgence.

Israel Tops Preference for Vegetarian Indians
According to the latest survey conducted by holiday and educational travel group Cox & Kings, headquartered in India, Israel has emerged among the ten “Top vegetarian-friendly destinations and preferences of Indian vegetarian outbound travelers.” The survey, with a sample size of 5000 people aged between 20 and 65 years, also revealed that cuisine is the paramount factor when selecting a holiday destination, with 70% of vegetarian travelers basing their travel decision on accessibility to vegetarian food.

Nordoy Hotel Opens
The Nordoy, the second hotel in a collection that also includes the Cucu Hotel in central Tel Aviv, has reopened its doors under new management. The hotel, originally named “Nordau Hotel,” was built in 1925 by architect Yehuda Megidovich in Central European style, and it was one of the city’s first accommodation offerings. Preservation works commenced in 2015 and were...

InterContinental David Tel Aviv Executive Premium Rooms
Following renovations across Club InterContinental rooms and the 25th floor Presidential Suite last year, full scale upgrades have been completed across floors 19-20 of the InterContinental David Tel Aviv, with rooms rebranded from Executive Rooms to Executive Premium Rooms. Upgrades have introduced new carpeting, king size bed and linens, sofa bed, built-in wooden desk, furnishings and marble bathroom...

Queen of Sheba Renovations
Renovations have taken place across 204 rooms and suites, to the luxury floors in the Queen of Sheba Hotel, Eilat. These include full scale renovations to Premium rooms, including new furniture, carpeting and bathrooms; and partial renovations to Deluxe rooms to introduce new carpets, curtains, toiletries and some furniture. The lobby has also been renovated with a new carpet...

Milos Dead Sea
Orchid Hotels has added Milos Dead Sea to its expanding portfolio of accommodations in Israel. In development this year, and slated to open in November, the new hotel is described by Director for Orchid Hotels and Jordache Group, Israel Ran Balbus as a “resort by the beach.” The 162-room property features 128 Deluxe rooms and 32 Suites, 16 of which have a private pool. Each room has its own private balcony... with ground floor rooms offering direct access to the main swimming pool. An infinity pool will also be stationed by the beach. “The property was previously the Tsell Harim Hotel, which closed two years ago, and we have renovated it into a highend village in the middle of the desert.”The hotel features a spa with 12 treatment rooms, Turkish Hamam and a swimming pool, with a high-tech fitness center available 24/7 for guests. “We chose the name Milos to reflect contemporary Greek style, with a light and casual resort that has a ‘tavern by the beach feel,’ where guests can enjoy the best facilities and indulge in our relaxing environment,” explains Balbus. The dining room, which will house a chef restaurant, is to serve a buffet breakfast and an à la carte dinner menu, among other options. Other amenities include a lobby lounge, where events will take place, and a parking lot. “We are a hotel for anyone wanting to experience the Dead Sea from a new perspective,” says Balbus.

KEDMA HOTEL TO OPEN
The first southern located hotel from the TravelHotels chain is set to open in spring 2018, joining five other hotels in the portfolio, all of which are located in the Galilee, in Israel’s North. Built with an investment of ILS 60 million, Kedma, located at the entrance of Kibbutz Sde Boker, features 95 rooms, public areas, a lounge, open swimming pool and covered bathhouse, a restaurant...

Tent Village in Hamat Gader
Hamat Gader, a recreation and spa site located in the north of Israel and overlooking the Sea of Galilee, has completed the construction of its tent village, which features 60 white tents that can each accommodate up to five people. The tents are equipped with mattresses, bed linen, air conditioning, power sockets and a lamp. A second complex of igloo tents offers accommodation...

New Kayaking Route at Kfar Blum
Kfar Blum Kayaks, an attraction site that has been operating for 30 years on Kibbutz Kfar Blum in the Upper Galilee, has launched a new sailing route. The new track has been developed for the benefit of children aged two to five, to experience a cruise in a family rafting boat that commences at the kayak site and ends at the Kfar Blum Dam. Cruises last around 30 minutes and are...

In The Footsteps of Melania in Jerusalem
Following the visit of President Donald Trump to Israel last month, Ophir Tours has launched a new package tour for visitors to experience destinations in Jerusalem as visited by the President and First Lady Melania Trump. The five day tour is self-guided, with printable vouchers provided for each site, where required. The tour includes: Private arrival and departure transfers...

Marie of Nazareth Multimedia Show with Chinese Subtitles
The Marie of Nazareth International Center, which, among other attractions, houses an archaeological site, a chapel open to the Basilica of the Annunciation, roof gardens and meeting rooms, has complemented its full biblical multimedia show, presented in English, with Chinese subtitles. The show, depicting the history of Salvation with Mary of Nazareth and projected across four rooms, is also available in French, English, English with Lithuanian subtitles, Arab, Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Italian with Romanian subtitles, German, Polish, Russian and Japanese.

Uri Buri Culinary Tour and Crusader Academic Seminars
Israeli Chef Uri Jeremias has launched private guided culinary tours in Acre’s Old City, paired alongside chef-led dining experiences at his restaurant, Uri Buri. The tour commences in Efendi Hotel’s Byzantine-era wine cellar, with a session on how to select, maintain and cook fish. Visitors are then taken on a two-hour guided walking tour of the market, with the opportunity to meet...

German Speaking Trade Media Explore Israel
During May 18-24, the Israel Ministry of Tourism hosted three German-speaking travel trade journalists in Israel on a trip arranged by the hosting department of the Israel Government Tourist Office, Berlin, that included visits to tourist sites in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, as well as meetings with tourism professionals. “The travel agency industry in Germany...

Incoming Tourism Association Conference
The first conference of the Israel Association of Travel Agencies & Consultants for Incoming Tourism took place last month at the Herods Hotel, Tel Aviv with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, bringing together senior directors, officials and 120 tour operators. The program included greetings from the Chairman of the Association Kobi Karni, and the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism Amir Halevy, who told attendees: “There is room for everyone” as he...

Incoming Statistics for May
May has seen an increase of almost 17 percent in the number of tourists visiting Israel compared to the same month last year. 347,000 visitors were recording as entering the country, the highest figure ever for May, with 303,000 entering by air (an increase of 22 percent on May 2016) and 44,000 entries by land crossings. During January-May 2017, 1.43 million tourists were recorded as entering Israel, reflecting a 25 percent increase on the same period in 2016.

Premium Check-In at Ben Gurion Airport
A new premium check-in service station has been introduced at Ben Gurion Airport on the ground floor (G) of Terminal 3, for passengers traveling on El Al Arkia, Israir, Turkish Airline and SWISS, with more airlines to be introduced. The service, which is booked in advance, provides passengers with a personal arrival time and serves no more than 10 people an hour, in order to allow a fixed time slot to conduct check-in, ticketing, baggage drop and security check.

Mishlohof App
Mishlohof is an on-demand app providing deliveries to Tel Aviv beaches. Upon loading the app, users are asked to select their desired products, register via email or Facebook and pay with credit card, Paypal or cash, and click the “Find Me” button on the final screen, to allow couriers to pinpoint your location. Products are delivered to customers from couriers ...

The Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium, Jerusalem
After three and a half years of construction, The Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium, Jerusalem has opened on a two-acre plot of land provided by the Jerusalem Municipality, adjacent to the Jerusalem Biblical zoo, and will run as a separate attraction. The ILS 100 million project has been funded from various sources including ILS 18 million from the Jerusalem...

Cable Car Tourism Project at the Western Wall
The Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) has approved the construction of a cable car tourism project to the Western Wall, as motioned by Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin. The first phase of the project, led by the Israel Ministry of Tourism and Jerusalem Development Authority, has been approved, with an initial budget of ILS 15 million allocated from the Israel Ministry of Tourism...

The Developing Tel Aviv Promenade
As reported in ITN #384, the Atarim Corporation, which is 50 percent owned by the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, has commenced work on a project to develop the Tel Aviv promenade into a cohesive model. Following recent upgrades to Frishman Beach, work has been completed on renovating the boardwalk at Jerusalem Beach, situated off Allenby St. The section has been upgraded to...

Accommodation update in Israel
From the very North to the most southern point of Israel, visitors have a wide selection of accommodation options, some of which hold particular uniqueness to the country: hotels, boutique hotels, B&Bs, hostels, apartment rentals, camping grounds, cabins, kibbutzim (village settlements) and more. Alongside this growing pool, online travel agents are tailoring their products to cater to demand and remain competitive amid fluctuating trends. “Staying on top of the needs and wants of consumers is the real challenge for us as they change so frequently,” says Booking.com Regional Director Andrea D’Amico. “We have to satisfy the needs across a diversity of segments, and understand what criteria are required in order to provide suitable options and support customers with superlative service.” Initially established as a site for hotel listings, Booking.com later diversified its product to offer a choice of over 2,400 properties across Israel. “Over half of these properties are alternative accommodations, as we see the demand for this kind of property increasing,” says D’Amico. “Taking Tel Aviv...

Maskit Boutique: Luxury in the north
Located on Moshav Liman in the Western Galilee, a short ride north of Nahayria, sits Maskit Boutique, an intimate hotel set within a private estate. The owners, husband and wife duo Avi and Sarit Maskit, opened the hotel in 2006 on a perfectly manicured plot of land, surrounded by landscaped gardens...

Villa Brown Jerusalem
Villa Brown Jerusalem, the fourth property in Israel to join the Brown Hotels portfolio, has opened. Located a short distance from Jerusalem’s Old City, the boutique hotel offers 24 rooms across classic (15-18m²), deluxe and deluxe terrace (22m²), and terrace (35m²) categories. Two connectable attic rooms are...

New Properties for Leshem Group
Hotel Management Company Leshem Group, which develops properties across Israel and abroad, has opened three new hotels: Ramada Resort Hadera; Tryp Jerusalem Bat Sheva, and Ramada Olive Nazareth. The Ramada Resort Hadera, located on Menachem...

The Setai in Israel
The Setai, Sea of Galilee is due to open May 30, featuring 88 suites and 22 rooms, averaging 55m². “We are expanding the Setai brand out with The Setai Miami, a hotel known for its luxury offerings, and have invested hundreds of millions of shekels into our latest properties to introduce the brand to Israel,” says CEO of Orchid Hotels, Avi Hormaro. Setai, Sea of Galilee rooms feature...

Malka Hotel Opens
A new 22 room hotel has opened in Jerusalem on Heleni-ha Malka St. “It was a place once frequented by Russian pilgrims around 130 years ago, in search of gifts,” says its owner, hotel General Manager Yoram Malka, who purchased the property four years ago. “I had just moved back from South Africa and began renovations on the hotel, and the name seemed fitting, given its location and my surname.” Double, twin and deluxe rooms, half of which feature balconies, ...

The Drisco to Open
The Drisco, a new independently managed hotel situated in Tel Aviv’s American Colony on Auerbach St, is to open in late 2017. The hotel is built within a renovated building that once housed the Jerusalem Hotel, a prestigious property in pre-State Israel from 1870 to 1940. Between 1958 and the late 70s, the building served a number of purposes, including military headquarters...

Kibbutz Lavi Hotel
Kibbutz Lavi Hotel, located in the Kibbutz Lavi Village close to Tiberias, has completed a full-scale renovation to 60 rooms, including a number of suites, in the Hod Wing. A mix of ceramic parquet flooring has been installed, together with new furnishings, mattresses and linens. The hotel has 184 rooms, all accessible to one another via connecting wings, and offers three categories of rooms: Standard, Superior and Deluxe. “We opened the hotel 55 years ago...

Kfar Maccabiah Hotel Reopens its Seminar Building
Kfar Maccabiah Hotel has reopened its Seminar Building, after a year of renovation works. Containing 13 rooms across three floors, the building is utilized for business conferences, company meetings and training events, and forms a section of the Convention & Events Center spaces within the hotel’s grounds. Each room is equipped with multi-media technology, a large television...

Prima Millennium
Prima Millennium, the 14th property to join the Prima Hotels portfolio, has opened in Ra’anana, south of Israel’s Sharon Plain district. The hotel has 140 rooms across five categories of Classic, Executive, Deluxe, Premium and Premium Room with Balcony. All rooms feature a queen size bed, 42 inch interactive satellite TV, desk with USB connections, bathrobes, tea and coffee maker, mini fridge...

Breakfast at 65 Hotel and Market House
Breakfast buffets are as synonymous to Israel as bread is to butter, with Middle Eastern salads, cheeses and spreads consumed in their abundance. Having feasted on more than a few Israeli breakfasts, I was intrigued as to why those offered at 65 Hotel and Market House Hotel, two Atlas Hotels...

WalkInnIsrael
WalkInnIsrael, a self-guided hiking tour company founded by authorized Tour Guide Alon Galin, offers a portfolio of pre-made walking trails across regions of Israel. “I have worked in the tour guide industry for over 30 years and had the idea to launch WalkInnIsrael after traveling outside of the country and discovering the option to explore regions on a self-guided basis, a concept ...

Rediscovering a City with Haifa Street Food Tours
On my last visit to Haifa back in 2014, I spent the day touring the Baha’i Gardens and wandering the streets of the Carmel neighborhood, but I have since discovered that the city has plenty more to offer in its repertoire. In recent years, work has commenced to revitalize sections...

Armenia Airlines launches flights
Armenia Airlines has started operating direct flights between Yerevan in Armenia and Tel Aviv, with a twice weekly route, Thursdays and Sundays.

El Al Direct Miami Flights
El Al has announced the reintroduction of its direct Miami to Tel Aviv route, which ceased operation in 2008. The flight will be offered three times a week starting from November. This is the airline’s sixth North American destination, alongside New York, Newark, Boston, Los Angeles and Toronto, with 37 weekly frequencies between continents in summer and 26 in winter. Ryanair announces new routes to Eilat Budget airline Ryanair has announced two new routes from Bremen and Dusseldorf Weeze to Ovda Airport in Eilat as part of its winter schedule for 2017. Both flights will operate bi-weekly.

SAS returning to Israel
Scandinavian airline SAS is launching direct flights from Stockholm to Eilat for the winter period, from October to March. The new route is part of the Ministry of Tourism’s “Winter Flights Directive” framework, which offers airlines a subsidy per passenger. This is the first route offered for Israel by SAS since it ceased operations to the country in March 2016.

Wizz Air Expands Routes to Israel
Low-cost Hungarian airline Wizz Air has announced new routes to Tel Aviv from: Lublin, Poland; Craiova, Romania; and Kosice, Slovakia. Bi-weekly flights on each route will operate from June. The airline is also increasing its frequency on its Bucharest to Tel Aviv flights, from four to seven times a week, from September 18, and Budapest to Tel Aviv from seven to ten flights a week, from October 29.

Ural Airlines flying to Israel
Ural Airlines inaugurated its new route between Sochi in Russia and Tel Aviv, operating twice weekly, Thursdays and Sundays, all year round.

Experience Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) is launching a new cities break product targeting millennials, from the end of May. “When we say ‘millennials,’ we refer to those born between 1980 and 2000, a younger generation who experienced the developments of new media in its infancy,” says Director of Incoming Tourism & International Relations for the JDA Eli Nahmias. “This segment ...

World Food Market Opens for Summer
Urban Zone TLV, a world food market pop up, will be in operation in Tel Aviv until August. Taking place on Carlibach St., next to the recently inaugurated Fashion Mall TLV, the market offers cuisines from across the globe, including tastes from Japan, South Africa, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Mexico and Columbia. According to organizers, the objective of the market is to provide a cultural platform in which to showcase authentic ethnic cuisine from a variety of countries. Artists are also exhibiting their works, including paintings and graphics, and musical entertainment is provided. Open weekly, Wednesday to Saturday.

20th Maccabiah Games
The 20th Maccabiah Games will take place between 4-18 July, with over 10,000 athletes from 80 countries participating in 43 different sporting events across Israel. Athletes will compete across categories of Juniors, Open, Masters and Paralympics. The first games, launched in 1932, saw 390 athletes competing from 18 countries; s they have since grown in status to being...

Direct Bus Line from Jerusalem to Hebron
A new bus line from Jerusalem to the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ma’arat HaMachpela) in Hebron has been approved by Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz. The Egged 383 line departs from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station at various times throughout the day, stopping at designated points on route to its final destination at Gross Square, Kiryat Arba, in the Gush Etzion region. The return journey, departing mornings, offers fewer frequencies. The route, with an approximate journey time of one hour, is in operation Sunday to Thursday.

Bar Refaeli Campaign
Israeli super model Bar Refaeli has appeared on the cover of the May Spanish edition of Condé Nast Traveler, promoting the “avant-garde” city of Tel Aviv. The feature was organized by a collaboration with the Israeli Embassy in Madrid and the Israel Ministry of Tourism, to promote Spanish tourism to Israel. The 12-page spread features a photoshoot of Refaeli in various...

An Update on easyJet in Israel
easyJet, the low-cost British airline, launched its first route to Tel Aviv from London Luton in 2009, and has since grown to become the second largest airline operating in Israel, after El Al. “ We are extremely proud of our presence at Ben Gurion Airport and the brand presence of easyJet throughout Israel. We have grown to offer 46 flights a week at our peak, operating from nine countries across Europe, with Paris and Amsterdam our most recent additions,” outlines easyJet Commercial Manager Neil Slaven. “Our drive in demand for Tel Aviv routes owes much to a renewed perception of Israel as a fun, safe, cultural and historically significant destination, with easily accessible regions that offer links to a diversity of consumer groups, many of whom have a pre-existing link to the country.” easyJet, which flew over 800,000 passengers...

Aviation Update
AIR EUROPA ADDS MORE FLIGHTS Spanish airline Air Europa is increasing its Madrid-Tel Aviv route from three to six flights a week, starting in July. According to the company, the number of passengers traveling this route has increased by 47% since the start of the year.

KENES TOURS ‘WOMEN OF VALOR’
Christian and Jewish travel tour company Kenes Tours, in collaboration with the Center for Jewish Christian Understanding and Cooperation, has launched its “’Women of Valor’ – A Journey in the Footsteps of the Biblical Women” tour, which for the first time brought a group of Christian female pastors and wives of pastors together for a program crafted exclusively...

TLVstyle Boutique Tours
Boutique fashion tour company TLVstyle, founded by entrepreneur and fashion-content expert Galit Reismann, provides high-end tailor made tours in Tel Aviv. “We are a creative community for those in the Israeli fashion industry, bridging international visitors with local creators and offering insightful behind-the-scene glimpses into the works of designers,” says Reismann. “I identify as a true Tel Avivian with roots and history in the city. I can remember ...

Touring Israel
Tailor-made tour company Touring Israel was set up in 2003 by American-born Israeli Joe Yudin, who immigrated to the country 25 years ago. “I believe that a happy tour guide is a happy tourist, and my main goal is not centered on maximizing profits,” says Yudin. “The idea for Touring Israel was to create a trip where...

Hotels Update
Nahsholim Holiday Village Kibbutz Hotel Located on the Mediterranean Sea front at the foot of Mount Carmel, 20km north of Caesarea, sits a vacation retreat void of rowdy crowds and disturbances. Nahsholim Holiday Village Kibbutz Hotel is an enchanting site catering to an assortment of guests, with over 150 accommodations, including...

THE TERRA SANCTA MUSEUM
The new Terra Sancta Museum, located in Jerusalem in two Franciscan buildings with sections dating back to the Roman, Byzantine and Crusader periods, is currently under construction and renovation. The Monastery of the Flagellation, situated at the start of the Via Dolorosa, is now the site of the Archaeological Museum of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, which opened...

ITB 2017
Twenty-six organizations within the Israel tourism industry exhibited at this year’s ITB, Berlin, which took place March 8-12 2017, the first three days of which were open to tourism professionals and the last two days to the general public. The inauguration of the Israel Pavilion, spanning 670m², was attended by Israel Ministry of Tourism Director General Amir Halevy and Israeli...

Ahalan Olympus Shared Shuttle Service
Incoming tour operator Ahalan Olympus, an organizer of customized tours across Israel, is to launch two new shared shuttle services from May. Shuttles running between Bethlehem and Jerusalem are available for tourists and will make three stops in Jerusalem - at the Prima Park Hotel, Israel Museum bus parking lot and the Old City at the Mount Zion parking lot. It will...

INCOMING STATISTICS FOR MARCH
The Ministry of Tourism has reported a 22 percent increase of the number of tourist entries to Israel this March (over 293,000) compared to the same month in 2016 (240,400), with around 255,500 arriving by air and 37,600 entering by land. Between January to March 2017, 736,600 visitors were recorded as entering the country, a 23.5 percent increase from the same period...

Dov Airfield Update
The Knesset (Israeli Parliament) has passed a bill to continue the operation of Tel Aviv’s Dov Airfield until 2019, at which time the military airport is to cease function. Originally, the airport was to close in April 2017 and the land to be sold for property development. Despite this ruling, the fast tracked bill, which received a unanimous vote from Knesset members, mandates...

Q Elite Beauty
Tailor-design beauty service Q Elite Beauty, which offers on-demand, on-location beauty services, has launched in Israel and currently operates across Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Mitzpe Ramon. “I have a number of years of experience working within the hotel incoming tourism industry throughout Israel, and I identified a gap in the market for a high-end service such...

HAIFA-NAZARETH LIGHT RAIL
The Israel National Infrastructure Committee has approved National Infrastructure Plan 56. Initiated by the Ministry of Transport, the plan outlines construction of a light rail line running from HaMifratz Central Station in Haifa to HaMusakhim Junction in Nazareth, at an estimated cost of ILS 5.9 billion. Following cabinet approval, detailed planning will commence, with the line scheduled for operation by 2023. Running 43 kilometers in length, it will feature 17 railway stations and nine park and ride stations along the route, with 32 electric trains on the line.

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR 2017
A highlight of festivals and events across Israel. FESTIVALS Sufi Festival May 4-6, Desert Ashram International Yoga Fest May 11-13, Gan Hashlosha, Nir David Holy Land Choir Festival May 16-18, Sea of Galilee Menashe Forest Festival ...

ITB Welcome
Dear Friends, ITB Berlin is the most important annual meeting place for the world’s tourism industry, with 1000 exhibitors from over 180 countries this year, and more than 200,000 visitors, including tourism professionals, media personnel and the public at large. Israel’s pavilion, as in the past, will be spacious, covering an area of 672m². The Israel Ministry of Tourism is pleased that so many exhibitors will be coming this year to the fair, to intensify Israel’s sales and marketing efforts and promote its tourism products. Cooperation between the Ministry and Israel’s private tourism sector at ITB is the correct way to promote Israel and increase sales. About 80 million annual trips out of the country are taken by German travelers, who enjoy 24 days off during the year. Statistics show that about 31 percent book via travel agencies, 17 percent...

IMTM 2017
IMTM 2017, the International Mediterranean Tourism Market, was held on 7-8 February for the 23rd time at the Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center in Tel Aviv. According to Ortra Ltd. and Israel Travel News Ltd. (publishers of Israel Travel News), organizers of the annual event which filled Pavilion #2 for the first time, 1780 exhibitors from 58 countries across 414 booths took part, the highest number ever. The event also hosted 2,300 trade visitors from abroad and 220 foreign buyers, and was attended by a total of 27,000 visitors. This year hosted several new countries who presented for the first time: Norway, Kyrgyzstan, Albania, Montenegro, Azerbaijan, Britain, China, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Peru and Costa Rica. Delegations from other countries participating in the exhibition...

Aviation (ITN - March 2017)
AIR CANADA MONTREAL TO TEL AVIV Air Canada is launching a new direct flight twice weekly from Montreal to Tel Aviv, from June to October. The airline will also increase the frequency of its Toronto to Tel Aviv flight to...

Awards & Mentions (ITN - March 2017)
Tel Aviv in American Express essentials Digital lifestyle magazine American Express essentials has named Tel Aviv as one of the top places to visit this year on its “Our 2017 Trend Destination Hotlist.” The feature mentions boutique Hotel 65’s breakfast as offering “…a feast...

Spotlight - A Spiritual Journey of Safed
Located northwards of Tiberias in the Upper Galilee, the city is hailed as the center of Kabbalah and offers much to its thousands of annual visitors in terms of ancient sites, spiritual teachings and sprawling nature. Whilst living in Israel, I have heard much chatter of Safed’s holiness, and, like many others, have grown intrigued as to its supposed spiritual offerings. The Capital of Kabbalah The study of Kabbalah (meaning “receiving”) seeks...

Kikar Hamusica
Kikar Hamusica (Music Square) recently opened to visitors Yoel Salomon St. in Jerusalem. Through the combined vision of French project creator Laurent Levy and museum director Eldad Levy, (the two are not related), to “unite all through music,” the 700m² project is advancing in its development. A courtyard is punctuated by a selection of music-themed restaurants, cafés and bars...

ISRAELI INNOVATION CENTER TO OPEN
An innovation space that will serve as both an educational hub and visitor’s center is scheduled to open in 2018. Its establishment was honored last summer by the ninth President of Israel and ambassador for Israel’s high-tech sphere, Shimon Peres, a few months before his passing. The Israeli Innovative Center, located at the Peres Peace House in Jaffa, is projected to attract thousands of global visitors who can learn about the history of Israel’s innovative...

Hotels (ITN - March 2017)
The Bezalel Hotel Jerusalem The first thing you notice upon entering the Bezalel Hotel is its home like ambiance, created by a colorful blend of locally sourced works and furnishings that capture the character of the city, and eye catching hand painted tiles on feature walls that emit a sense of tranquility with calming...

Nachum Gutman Museum Audio Tours
Audio tours have been introduced in the permanent exhibition at the Nachum Gutman Museum, located in Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv. The museum is based within a house built by the Schulman family in 1887 which formed one of the first 48 houses in the Neve Tzedek area, and the permanent exhibition showcases the works of Gutman, an Israeli painter, sculptor and author, which were...

THE MIQWE TRAIL IN OPHEL PARK
A new trail has been inaugurated between two thousand-year-old ritual baths that were once used by pilgrims visiting the Temple Mount. The experimental trail is an extension of the existing paths at the Ophel site in the Davidson Center Archaeological Park, contained within the walls around Jerusalem National Park, and has been constructed and conserved in recent...

Statistics- January 2017
JANUARY INCOMING STATISTICS January 2017 has seen a 27% increase in incoming tourism from the same month in 2016, with 210,000 recorded entries into Israel. Of these tourists: 188,200 arrived by air, 23% more...

Updates
Shuk Rothschild Allenby A new indoor food market has opened in Tel Aviv at the intersection of Rothschild and Allenby streets. According to sources, the market has been designed in the styles of Eataly in New York and La Boqueria Market in Barcelona. The 1250m² space houses over 20 street food stalls...

Statistics
Increase in Tourist Arrivals to Israel in 2016 The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics’ latest figures reveal an increase of 3.4% in incoming tourism to Israel in 2016 compared to the previous year, accounting for 2.9 million tourist arrivals to Ben Gurion Airport. According to the Ministry of Tourism, the last four months of 2016 saw an all-time record for incoming tourism to the country with a 16.6% rise in tourist arrivals during this period, compared to the same months in 2015. The Ministry “…attributes the increase to a strategic shift in marketing and an increase in the marketing budget,” which was set at almost half a billion shekels for incoming tourism last year. A combined ILS 35 million portion of this investment was focused on two newer markets - China and India - both of which experienced a rise in tourist arrivals compared to 2015. China saw 84,600 entering by land and air last year (+65%); India accounted for 44,600 arriving by land and air (+13.5%). Furthermore, December 2016 experienced a higher number of incoming tourists...

Aviation
Air Transat Montreal to Tel Aviv Route Canadian airline Air Transat will be operating direct flights from Montreal to Tel Aviv between June and October 2017, providing two afternoon departures a week from Montreal and two morning return flights from Tel Aviv. This is the first direct Montreal route to Tel Aviv in many years, and the third direct connection from Canada. Air Canada and El Al currently offer...

National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has undertaken a project to bring together and display a collection of two million archaeological objects, including 15,000 Dead Sea Scrolls, in the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel. Currently under construction, the campus is slated to open late 2017 and is located on Museum Hill in Jerusalem, between...

White City Heritage Center to Open in Tel Aviv
Plans to develop a White City Heritage Center in Tel Aviv are underway, in a joint collaboration between the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). Tel Aviv, referred to as the ‘White City’ due to its collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus style buildings, was declared a UNESCO World...

Awards&Mentions
RITZ CARLTON The Luxury Travel Guide has awarded the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Herzliya with the Luxury Contemporary Hotel of the Year Award 2016. “We are proud to win this prestigious award,” General Manager Ned Capeleris commented. “[It} is dedicated to our employees, who provide excellent service on a daily basis with great pride and passion, as our motto says – ‘we are ladies...

Milk & Honey Whisky Tours
The Milk & Honey Distillery, founded in 2012, opened its Tel Aviv visitor center this past April within an 800m² industrial space that previously housed a bakery. “We decided to open the distillery in Tel Aviv as it’s the center of business culture and a tourist hub that’s easily accessible to many,” outlines CEO Eilan Attir. The initial concept of a whisky distillery in Israel...

UPCOMING MUSIC PERFORMANCES IN ISRAEL
Gothic metal band from Halifax England, Paradise Lost, will give a concert on 23 February at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv. Australian-British singer-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia is to perform 1 March at Heichal Hatarbut - Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv. English rock back Yes will give a concert on March 7 at Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena. The performance will feature three of the original band members - vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist Trevor Rabin and...

Travel Composer
“I refer to Israel as a destination - a country where visitors can cover such a diverse variety of activities during a 10-day trip,” says Hani Sand, founder of boutique travel company Travel Composer. Following a year of planning, Chicago-born Sand launched the company last summer, offering boutique tailored experiences...

FlyBox opens in Israel
FlyBox has opened its first wind tunnel center in Israel, located in Rishon LeZion, 8km south of Tel Aviv, with an investment of ILS 46 Million. Founded by a team of professional partners with over 20 years of wind tunnel and sky diving experience, FlyBox provides visitors multiple two-minute flights within the tunnel simulator and offers optional packages, including a VIP experience...

Bitemojo Launches in Jerusalem
Bitemojo, an Israeli culinary tourism app that launched in Berlin last year, is now available in Jerusalem. The app allows users flexibility to book from a selection of self-guided tours tailored to individual preferences and tastes. Jerusalem options include a food tour of Machane Yehuda Market, a creative class food tour and a nightlife tour of Jerusalem, each running two-three hours and providing a sample of local tastes. The app can be downloaded on both iOS and Android and is available in English and German.

Dizengoff 208 Opens
New boutique hotel, Dizengoff 208, has joined A.A Hotels Ltd. management portfolio, bringing its total to six properties across Israel. Located at the northern end of Dizengoff St. at the Arlozorov St. intersection, Dizengoff 208 occupies a four story building that previously served as a branch of Bank Hapoalim. “The site was bought by an investor from Los Angeles and the building...

ibis Jerusalem to Open
“This will be the first ibis hotel in central Jerusalem and the second from the chain in Israel as there is already an ibis Styles in East Jerusalem,” outlines hotel General Manager Aharon Bernstein. “The new hotel is an ibis Red, one of three ibis categories, meaning all of our furnishings are imported from Europe in...

Updates for Jerusalem Gold Hotel
The Jerusalem Gold Hotel has implemented a new marketing strategy under the direction of General Manager Ricardo Cordoba-Core, who was recently promoted from director of marketing and sales. “As an extension of my role as general manager, I have refocused our marketing efforts with a three-year strategy that more clearly...

Vital Hotel Renovations
Vital Hotel, a 65 room boutique Tel Aviv business property, has injected ILS 4 million into renovations. Upgrades, designed by architect Ari Shaaltiel, have taken place across public spaces and some guest rooms. “The furniture, including beds and mattresses, was replaced in rooms and new bedding, carpets, curtains and a smart 40-inch TV were added,” says Joint General Manager...

Rimonim Hotels Room Escape
Rimonim Hotels is introducing an escape room experience for guests in its Eilat and Nazareth hotels. The game allows participants 60 minutes to escape from a locked room by solving a story via a series of puzzle, clues and teamwork thinking. The first phase will involve building two escape rooms by Israeli detective room specialist company Escapeit within each of the hotels...

Grants for New Hotels
The Ministry of Tourism has approved over ILS 220 million in grants to entrepreneurs building accommodation properties for tourists, reflecting an increase of more than 1900 hotel rooms. The regions to receive the largest share of the grants are: Eilat - with three new hotels, adding 410 rooms. Jerusalem - with six new hotels and a hostel, adding...

A New Record at IMTM
Over 50 countries are registered to participate in the 23rd International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM), setting a new record for the annual exhibition. 14 international ministers of tourism will also be in attendance. Organized by Israel Travel News Ltd. and Ortra Ltd., the event will be held 7-8 February at the Tel Aviv Convention Center and in Pavilion #2 for the first time, the center’s new 6,000m² hall, larger than that used in previous...

Ben Gurion Airport Exhibition
A new exhibition in Ben Gurion Airport was recently unveiled entitled “120 Years of Zionism”. Described as the airport’s largest exhibition to date, the Terminal 3 display, which spans 200 meters, offers passengers an account of early Zionist leaders and founders of the State of Israel, with insight on topics including absorption of immigrants into the country, the Diaspora, Jerusalem, and Hebrew as a spoken language today, among others.

Erga & Associates Ltd Appoints Clalit
Representatives of Israeli Hospitals in Nigeria, Erga & Associates Ltd, has appointed Israeli healthcare provider Clalit as its agent. Mr Yorman Raveh, chairman of the Board of Directors and manager of the Israeli branch of Erga & Associaties, said “A tourist from Nigeria now has a choice of health holidays in Israel. The medical surgeons in Israel have gained a reputation...

Queen of Sheba Eilat Update
The Hilton Queen of Sheba Eilat has rebranded to Queen of Sheba Eilat following a termination of its 16 year partnership with the Hilton chain. Oded Lifschitz, VP Israel, Hilton Worldwide said “Following a mutual agreement with the hotel’s owner, Asset of Queen of Sheba Limited Partnership, from December 31st 2016 the hotel has no longer been operating as part of the...