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Tuesday, 04 September, 2018, 09 : 30 AM [IST]

Israel Tourism to organise second phase of 2018 India roadshow in Southern region

Targets 90,000 Indian arrivals in 2018
Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), the government organisation of Israel responsible for tourism promotion, will be organising the second phase of its 2018 India roadshow in the Southern region in November covering Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi. Hassan Madah, Director, IMOT – India & Philippines, said that they have witnessed an increase in interest for Israel from travellers in Southern India, thus IMOT has lined up its next marketing and promotional initiatives in these cities. IMOT concluded its first phase of 2018 India roadshow last week in New Delhi where 20-member delegation from Israel comprising tour operators and DMCs interacted with over 150 travel trade members. IMOT also organised roadshows in Ahmedabad and Kolkata last week under phase one of its India roadshow.

Notably, Israel witnessed 58,700 Indians in 2017 thereby recording a 31% growth. For 2018, IMOT has set of target of 90,000 Indians arrivals to Israel, out of which up till July it has welcomed 43,300 Indians, clocking 26% growth as compared to same time period in 2017. India currently ranks 11th in terms of source market and is expected to reach within top 10 rankings by the end of this year. Elaborating more on the Indian traveller trends, Madah said Indians spend on an average USD 1,400 in Israel and the average stay length is eight nights. At present IMOT witnesses 30% of its Indian arrivals for business purposes, 40% for pilgrimage while the remaining are leisure tourists.

Among other initiatives undertaken by IMOT for attracting tourists from Southern India, after opening a visa application centre in Hyderabad in October this year, it is committed towards opening more centres by next year in few other popular cities of South India.

When asked about connectivity issues from Southern India to Israel, Madah commented that by the end of this year or early next year Arkia Israeli Airlines will hopefully commence operations from Goa and Kochi to Israel. Madah expressed that in order to attract large number of tourists from any country, air connectivity is a must and from India there are only two carriers who fly directly to Israel which needs to increase considering the growth from the Indian market. “There is scope of one more airline to fly to Israel directly from India by year end or early next year considering the growth in Indians travelling to Israel. IndiGo and Vistara are looking for international operations and they can choose Israel for the same as the numbers from India are bound to grow and without any competition in Southern India, it can be a profitable investment,” he added.

Madah said that El Al, the Israeli carrier operating four times a week from Mumbai to Tel Aviv will be adding a new Boeing 777 on the route to cater to the increasing capacity. He also stated that SpiceJet has appointed a Global Sales Agent (GSA) in Israel. “We can see the growing interest in the aviation sector and are willing to support any Indian carrier who is willing to fly to Israel.”

When asked about expansion in terms of hotel room inventory in Israel, Madah said that in coming two years, 10,000 hotel rooms are planned to be added to the Israel’s current room inventory of 55,000. He added that few international brands like Kempinski are coming up with luxury four-star and five-star properties in Israel.
 
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