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July 11, 2014 11:14 am

Tourism to Israel Must Continue

avatar by Ronn Torossian

Jerusalem. Photo: Berthold Werner.

With all the noise about kidnappings, missiles, and the escalating conflict in Israel,we must acknowledge that tourism to Israel will be affected. Summer is a peak-time for travelers, and undoubtedly many are concerned about bringing their families to the Jewish state because of the conflict

Having represented Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, I am well-aware of the ins-and outs of tourism to Israel, and have some thoughts:

  • Core marketing must continue to those who are favorable towards Israel. Christians and Jews, who are ideologically drawn to and connected to the Jewish State, are the ones most likely to visit. They should continue to be the focus – even more so as rockets fly.
  • More should be done to actually provide better service for tourists in Israel. There can be no question that hotels are over-priced and constantly under-deliver. As a recent survey found, “Tourists in Israel are not getting [their] money’s worth.” Indeed many hotels take advantage of the fact that many of us will go to Israel no matter what. At least if the prices cannot be changed, the service should be. Having stayed in most of Israel’s finest hotels, there can be no question that there is no comparison between these hotels and the best ones in Europe or America; that must change.

Israel is simply beautiful and amazing. Millions of people worldwide know that, and feel connected to the country. Israel should urge people to visit, and remind people that the country is far safer (in terms of crime, etc.) than nearly every major city in America or Europe. The first five months of 2014 saw record highs in tourism to Israel; let us all hope and pray that 2014 remains a record year for Israeli tourism.

Ronn Torossian is a New-York based public relations executive.

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