Netanyahu Speaks as a Tour Guide

Netanyahu,opening tourism conference in Jerusalem, says, "Welcome, and come back again!"

Yoni Kempinski, | updated: 11:50

Netanyahu at Tourism Conference
Netanyahu at Tourism Conference
Flash 90

Prime Minister Netanyahu opened the Tourism Conference taking place this week in Jerusalem and spoke directly to tourists and potential tourists: "I'd like to tell you first why we need you, then I'd like to say a few words why you may be interested in visiting us often and getting others to do so."

"We've had 3.5 million tourists; that is a record number," said Netanyahu, "but it's not enough, because Israel should have more tourists than people.  We have a 1-to-2 ratio; we need a 1-to-1 ratio. I don't think it's impossible at all to reach it.  I think we have tremendous attractions, but the important thing is we have to convince you to convince others of the truth of what I'm saying."
Netanyahu explained that Israel is often referred to as a hi-tech country, but that that can be deceiving, "because not everyone in Israel can be a hi-tech engineer, or even be engaged in a derivative industry... [Nearly] the only other way that you can create added value for a great many number of people who are not in this sector is to promote the tourist industry... So that's why I'm here – because I want you to be here."
The Prime Minister focused his speech on the Christian audience, as he listed the sites and locations in Israel that are attractive to the Christian tourist.
Netanyahu seemed to take upon himself a marketing role during his speech as he promoted touring Jerusalem and visiting Tel Aviv.  Israel, he explained, combines past and future - "the great story of the past, of our past and humanity's past, this spiritual center that the State of Israel has rekindled and that the city of Jerusalem represents; and the future, that Israeli society in all its variegated expressions brings forth, I think make Israel an extremely exciting place."
"The other advantage is you don't have to travel very much," concluded Netanyahu. "The weather is good.  The people are good.  So all I can ask you to do is come often, and bring your friends and tell them about it. Welcome to Jerusalem, come back again."