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May 28, 2013 1:54 pm

Israeli Tourism to Focus on ‘Chinese and Evangelical Target Audiences’

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A Catholic procession on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem (2006). Photo: Darko Tepert.

Israeli Tourism Minister Uzi Landau told Israel Hayom on Monday that he intends to “focus first and foremost on strengthening domestic tourism, and to invest in incoming tourism focusing on Chinese and evangelical target audiences.”

“[Israel is] the cradle of Jewish and Christian civilization,” Landau said.

In Europe, 6 percent of the gross domestic product is generated by incoming tourism, compared with 2.3 percent in Israel, Landau noted.

“This is where the prophets roamed, this is where the Bible was written, this is where some of the extraordinary historical events occurred, and all we are managing to get across to the world is 2.3%? It’s not enough,” he said.

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  • jerry hersch

    Closer in -There are 100-120 million on the Indian sub-continent with the means to travel to Israel with the correct package deals..that is a lot of potential from only 8-9% of the Indian-Sri Lankan-Nepalese population. Imagine just reaping 1% of that potential..

  • jerry hersch

    As for China -Why not the rest of the Far East
    The Overseas Chinese Communities including Singapore-but also in Thailand.
    Korea-now over 40% Christian….mostly Evangelical Presbyterians.
    The Philippines,Taiwan and Japan all with a renewed interest or new interest
    And those harder places for visitors Malaysia and Indonesia travels is allowed by both though no formal relations exist.
    Indonesia’s population is up to 15% Christian,and 2% Chinese..both educated groups and comprise a disproportionate share of the professional and technical groups,the larger merchants,and finance.The Christians are well represented in the military ( during the fighting in Timor a large number of Indonesian units were Christian officered.The fighting there was as much Catholic vs Protestant as it was Moslem vs Catholic).
    Indonesian Moslems are still basically hold to the old rule of thumb…1/3 high belief/high practice,1/3 moderate belief/moderate practice,1/3 low belief/mixed Islam-traditional practice..
    Traditioal beliefs,Buddhism,Hinduism,Christianity all have entered and mixed in belief systems
    Malaysia is even more skewed 25% of the population is Chinese -and Malaysia is only about half Moslem.Again Christians and Chinese are at the fore in manyareas-except the military.
    With the correct marketing,transit infrastructure, packages and sensitivity Israel can tap all these markets. It may take a marketing rifle approach rather than a shotgun-but the rewards would be worth it both monetarily and politically.

  • jerry hersch

    Much of Europe’s tourism is cross border much of the rest is seasonal North/South vacationers.
    Israel has little cross border tourism though both the Cypriot and Turkish markets could be better exploited.
    Israel’s strong points are as mentioned history and ruins,archaeology,and a MidEast flavor in relative safety.
    Perhaps too an emphasis on technical vacations learning workshops and camps.
    Israel’s diverse population and widely scattered places of origin could be better used in marketing to specific markets.