The Tourism Ministry has launched a $10 million “There’s a Little Bit of Israel in All of Us” campaign that invites visitors to the Jewish State to post stories and pictures on the website of the Tourism Ministry. The campaign is beginning in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Toronto and will extend to South America later this year.
The new effort to draw more tourists to Israel was developed by a New York-based advertising agency as a way of illustrating that the stories many grew up with -- as told by parents and grandparents, from Bible stories, movies and popular culture -- originated in Israel.
"All of us can find something deep inside our soul that connects us to Israel; it's the birthplace for several of the world's major faiths, after all," said Bodden Agency president Chris Bodden. "This campaign is designed to reach inside people and make them realize that even if they've never traveled to Israel, there will be something familiar, comfortable and fascinating about it," he said.
The theme of the campaign is the notion that many other countries have rich histories and strongly embedded culture, but none can match Israel's. The message is that only in Israel can you stand where something that shaped humanity from the very beginning of the western calendar occurred.
Recent campaigns have featured the slogans “Israel. Who Knew?" and "You'll love Israel from the first Shalom.”
Despite the global recession last year, approximately 700,000 North Americans visited Israel last year, and the goal is one million visitors in 2010. During the first four months this year, tourism to Israel soared by 44 percent from the same period in 2009 and was 13 percent more than the previous record in 2008.
A “TripAdvisor” list of the world’s top 10 cultural ad sightseeing destinations places include Jerusalem, the only city n the Middle East to win a ranking.