EilatMoshe Shai/FLASH90

The Israel Ministry of Tourism has published an initiative aimed at bringing thousands of tourists to Eilat.

The initiative offers an invitation to aviation companies to receive financial support to operate flights from Europe to Ramon Airport in the coming winter season, with the hopes of bringing hundreds of thousands of tourists from overseas.

Every airline operating a direct flight to the Ramon Airport will receive a subsidy of 60 euros per passenger. The airline is entitled to a subsidy for a maximum of 75 weekly flights from the same airport, flying from September 1, 2022 through to end May 2023 (except for the holiday periods of October 9-16, 2022 and April 5-13, 2023). The deadline for requests for assistance is September 1, 2022.

The flights directive relates to financial assistance given by the Israel Ministry of Tourism to support airlines and operators wishing to operate flights in the winter season from Europe to Eilat. The resort city, which relies heavily on incoming tourism, was severely impacted by the pandemic. The Ministry markets Eilat and southern Israel as a holiday destination with virtually year-round warm weather.

The Ministry, with the Eilat Municipality, also initiates cultural activities for tourists during the season. At the same time, the Ministry is working on promoting desert tourism, to strengthen the Negev and the Arava, while developing tourism infrastructure in the area.

The flight directive for Eilat has been successful in recent years. The number of tourists landing in Eilat during the winter season 2019-2020 (until the complete cessation of incoming tourism in March 2020 due to the pandemic) reached a record of about 150,000. In the past, the directive, designed to incentivize airlines to fly to Eilat, has brought tourists from 17 new destinations to the resort city, and up to as many as 45 weekly flights. Before the directive, there were only about four weekly flights into Eilat.

Israel Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid) said: “Bringing tourism back to Israel in the winter months, and in particular to Eilat and the south, is an important objective in the Tourism Ministry. I see great importance in transforming Israel into an attractive destination for tourists from around the world, with an emphasis on those countries which are frozen through the winter months.”