Eyal Shmueli, one of the founders of the conference, said, “For an entire year, COVID-19 has shut down the economy and tourism in particular. We are the first to hold a virtual tourism expo and this June, also a physical expo, which are expected to revive the industry. All forecasts show tourism getting back into full swing in June, and senior players in the local and international industry will conclude their first deals at the expo.”

For the first time ever, the organizers of the Middle East’s largest tourism expo, IMTM 2021 – International Mediterranean Tourism Market, are now holding a virtual tourism expo with dozens of countries to facilitate meetings and relationships between Israel and countries of the world. The expo will last through June 15, 2021, as with the vaccine drive, the organizers have announced now that the physical conference will be held at Expo Tel Aviv from June 15-16, 2021. Hundreds of people and dozens of countries from around the world will participate in the expo, including Dubai and Morocco, which look forward to presenting the innovations and new attractions that will capture the hearts of Israelis.

According to the latest figures from the World Tourism Organization, between January and October 2020, there was a drastic tourism decline of 900 million tourists worldwide, compared to the corresponding period in 2019. This downward trend came with losses of $945 billion in revenues from international tourism, 10 times the figure in the economic crisis of 2009. However, encouraging data presented by Bank of America indicate recovery of the aviation industry thanks to the vaccines and as a direct result, recovery of tourism as well, which is expected to come in June as summer vacation begins. These days, with the second vaccine dose and steps towards a return to normal, the organizers of the international tourism expo IMTM 2021 International Mediterranean Tourism Market – announced that this year, despite the changing reality, the expo is expected to be held, as usual, at Expo Tel Aviv on June 15-16, 2021. Dozens of countries, including Dubai and Morocco, have already registered. The tourism expo, in which businesspeople, hotel owners and aviation companies will participate, is expected to be a key milestone in getting the tourism industry back to normal.

To quickly and rapidly promote the international connections between Israel and the world, as well as business relationships in Israel, conference exhibitors are now already able to begin early meeting virtually and to conclude some of the important deals in preparation for the summer. The virtual expo will run through June 15, 2021.

The expo is being held by Ortra Ltd. and Israel Travel News, in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism and sponsored by the Israel Hotel Association, Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Tourism Association, El Al and Israel Association of Travel Agencies and Consultants. The expo is designed for anyone engaged in the various sectors of the tourism industry – domestic tourism, incoming tourism and tourism players from overseas. A wide variety of Israeli exhibitors participate each year: tourism associations from around the country, airlines, hotels, car rental companies, shipping companies, service providers and tourism attractions of various types. The exhibition includes meetings and professional conferences along with a program for invited agents, as part of which hundreds of decision-makers from around the world who market Israel as a tourist destination attend.