Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv Israel news photo: S. Cohen

Israel's Ministry of Transport reported earlier this week that an increase of 13 per cent in flights to and from Israel is expected during the winter season, which began last week, Globes reported.

The Israel Airport Authority has already approved flights to and from Israel by 53 foreign air carriers. Some companies will be flying to Israel for the first time this winter, among them Germanwings, which will operate flights between Tel Aviv and Cologne; Spanair will operate flights between Tel Aviv and Barcelona; Air Ukraine will fly between Tel Aviv and Kiev; Cimber Sterling will fly between Tel Aviv and Copenhagen; Armavia will operate flights between Tel Aviv and Yerevan, Armenia; finally, easyJet will introduce flights between Tel Aviv and Basle and Tel Aviv and Geneva.

Among the Israeli airlines, Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz said that El Al will see an increase of 7 per cent in flights this winter compared with last winter, and that Arkia Airlines would have 12 weekly flights overseas, while Israir will have seven weekly flights.

The many tourists who are expected to flock to Israel this winter will undoubtedly visit Tel Aviv, which was recently ranked third on the Lonely Planet travel guide's list of the world's top 10 cities for 2011. In order to further excite tourists in anticipation of their visit to Tel Aviv, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published an article which lists some of the many attractions Israel’s second largest city has to offer.

Besides Tel Aviv’s famous Mediterranean beaches (which help the city rank as one of National Geographic Magazine's top 10 beach cities), the Ministry also reminds tourists of the more than 5,000 Bauhaus-style buildings one can find in Tel Aviv. These cubic structures earned Tel Aviv a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site designation in 2003, as there are more of them in Tel Aviv than anywhere else in the world.

Tel Aviv is a symbol of pluralism, according to Pini Shani, head of the Overseas Department in Marketing Administration for Israel's Tourism Ministry. The city also boasts its cultural and business center.

In fact, says the article, the Tourism Ministry “is beginning to promote Tel Aviv as a unique destination rather than just one stop on an Israeli tour. The long-range aim is to transform it into a ‘global city’ by enhancing all aspects of its infrastructure from transportation and education to municipal services and tourism.”

Shani said that Tel Aviv is looking to create events that will appeal to the international community. These will include the Tel Aviv Marathon and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art that will be reopened at the end of 2011.

Another attraction to tourists in Tel Aviv is its many festivals and vibrant nightlife. The city is visited by world entertainers, from dance troupes, through operas, to contemporary artists. Among the festivals found each year in the city is a Classical Music Festival, Fashion Market, Purim Carnival, MarineSport exhibition, and even an International Documentary Film Festival.

As Etty Gargir of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Association for Tourism said: “Tel Aviv has 300 days of sun, and it is truly the city that never sleeps.”