Tourism poster for Israel
Tourism poster for IsraelIsrael news photo: courtesy of Israel Ministr

Israel has begun its winter tourism drive in the United States, Canada and Brazil.

More than NIS 10 million of the ministry's NIS 260 million annual marketing budget for 2011 is being invested in the effort to market Israel as an attractive destination to potential tourists this season.

A comprehensive winter ad campaign is set to present Jerusalem as the heart of the Holy Land, offering various forms of activities, leisure and entertainment. The campaign targets potential tourists seeking a vacation with elements of religion, history and culture. It highlights various sites in Israel such as Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv and Eilat, as well as sites in the Galilee and the Negev.

The campaign also is aimed at other various groups, including religious and niche tourism such as gourmet wine, spa, extreme sports and more.

Additional marketing efforts include working with the local tourism industries to promote Israel in fairs and seminars, public relations activities, recruiting new tour operators and expanding existing local marketing sources, expanding flight capacities and more.

“The Fall-Winter season is the most attractive time of year for tourism to Israel and the Israel Government Tourism Offices abroad are maximizing resources in order to increase demand,” noted Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov. “The stability of incoming tourism to Israel, despite regional and international economic and political events is a significant achievement.”

From January through October, 2.8 million visitors arrived in Israel, according to the ministry. Of those, half a million were from the U.S., the largest source country for incoming tourism to Israel. Revenue from incoming tourism (not including domestic or outbound tourism) during the same period has reached NIS 12 billion – a 10 percent increase over 2010.