In the first phase, marketing efforts will focus on the United States, which was the number one destination for tourists arriving in Israel.
After the green light is given to return tourism to Israel, the Ministry of Tourism will start marketing Israel to international tourism after a long hiatus. In the first phase, the Ministry of Tourism will focus on the United States, which existed until the outbreak of the COVID-19, the number one tourist destination for inbound tourism to Israel.
Before the COVID-19, about a million tourists came to Israel each year from the United States. Most of the marketing efforts will be in Jewish families: trips and celebrations of bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, etc. Many American Jews waited a long time for Israel to reopen and the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts.
The professional team led by the CEO of the Ministry of Tourism, Amir Halevi, prepared for the opening of the skies, and teams from the Ministry’s offices are headed to the United States.
The tour will include meetings with U.S.-based airlines including El Al’s management in New York and Delta in Atlanta, a meeting with tourism wholesalers from various sectors, media and PR, and strategic consultants.
The marketing director of the Ministry of Tourism is currently examining the exit strategy from the crisis, with the goal of accelerating the processes of initiating incoming tourism, first through the Jewish and Christian audience, which is the anchor of the mostly organized target audience, and at the same time start marketing among the general public.
As one may recall, 2019 was a record year for inbound tourism with over 4.5 million tourists, while 2020 opened at a rate of over 5 million tourists per year.
The US market is the largest and most significant market and in recent years, tourist traffic from the US has almost doubled to over a million tourists after a strategic change in campaigns and creating partnerships with major airlines and digital marketing agencies such as Expedia, Virtuoso and more, and opening new lines with Incentive and marketing agreements with airlines including El Al, United, Delta and American Airlines to new destinations including Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Washington DC and San Francisco.
The Ministry of Tourism has a professional team in North America, operating from New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Toronto, which has worked throughout the crisis to preserve the marketing channels in front of the American tourism industry in a variety of activities both in cyberspace and face to face, and now continues to increase activity In order to energetically initiate inbound tourism to Israel, when the meeting is intended to make assessments for the return of tourists to Israel.
Amir Halevi, CEO of the Ministry: “The American market is the largest and most central source market and we have an excellent team that has led us to highs and knowledge to get out of the crisis and prepare for the return of tourism in the coming months. Together with the new Deputy CEO, Mr. Kobi Barda, who comes from the academic field of the American market in general and the evangelical market in particular, and the firm’s professional staff, we examined strategic collaborations including with religious and general tourism wholesalers, NFL and NBA officials and We believe that in meetings with the airlines we learned that they understand the potential of the Israeli market and intend to renew the existing routes, add new routes and increase the capacity of seats on flights from the US”.