Aiming at a steady increase in tourist arrivals from India, Israel is eyeing one lakh Indian tourists to visit the country by 2018.
Hassan Madah, Director- India, Israel Ministry of Tourism, said, “The historic visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to our country has sparked a renewed interest among Indians to travel to Israel. Till July 2017, over 34,000 Indians have already visited Israel marking a growth of 36%.”
Currently, there are three to four direct flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and numerous connecting flights from West Asia. There are a few global airlines that are waiting for Air India to introduce direct flights connecting New Delhi with Israel in few months so that they can launch their fleets in this direct route as well. “When this happens, we will see a surge in tourists’ arrivals from India,” Madah stated.
“We have also been engaging with the tourism industry in India since last few years and are focused in many promotional activities. Due to this, we have set a target of reaching one lakh tourists from India by the end of 2018,” he said.
For tourism promotions in India, the Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) is spending $ 5-6 million this year and is targeting people from metro cities— mostly over 25 years of age who are well travelled. Gradually, they plan to expand their promotions to tier II and III cities.
“We are mainly focusing on pilgrimage, leisure and MICE as they are huge segments in India. However, we also have scope for the young adventurer at heart, honeymoon and for medical purposes,” he said.
On speaking about the aspects of Film Tourism, Madah agreed that film plays an important role in generating tourism and assured that the Israel Ministry is willing to provide full support to attract film producers from India to shoot in Israel.