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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

Israel Pays GPS App Waze to Push Periphery Tourism

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Israel’s Ministry for Development of the Negev and the Galilee will pay about $45 thousand to the GPS navigation app Waze to add to its map tourist attractions, historic sites and parks located away from central Israel, Ynet reported Sunday. The initiative is part of a new Waze campaign of the ministry to promote Israel’s more remote site to potential visitors. As part of the campaign, an icon of the ministry will pop up whenever a user drives near a tourist attraction, much like a speed trap or an accident warning icon.

David Israel

Turkish Tourism Worst Casualty of Failed Coup, Terrorism

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Turkish Hoteliers Federation head Osman Ayık told the Hürriyet Daily News that Turkey must improve its reputation abroad in order for its troubled tourism sector to prosper again. “The confidence factor that Turkey projected abroad has eroded,” Ayık said. “There is a certain perception in Europe about Turkey and arrivals from the continent have seen a sharp decrease. We need to take steps to reverse that trend.”

Tourism is an essential part of the Turkish economy, employing 8% of the country’s workforce, and it has taken a severe blow from the failed military coup this past weekend, and earlier in this year of relentless terrorist attacks, with a 10% decline in arriving tourists in the first quarter of 2016. According to Euromonitor International, the number of international visitors to Turkey is expected to decline by 5.2% overall in 2016.

Since the coup attempt, the Federal Aviation Administration has not allowed US airlines to fly to or from Istanbul and Ankara, and has blocked all carriers, foreign and domestic, from flying into the US from Turkey even indirectly. The State Department warned US citizens to avoid travel to the tourism sites in southeastern Turkey, and the UK Foreign Office issued an advisory to its citizens against travel to Turkey because terrorism threats are still high there.

Roenen Karaso, a VP in Israel’s tourism company ISSTA, told The Marker that Turkey is “a dead destination. Today we’re talking about bottom prices for mini-vacations to Turkey for 40% less compared with last year. For instance, three nights in motels, all included, in Topkapi or Kremlin in Antalya (Turkey’s resort destination on its southern Mediterranean region, known as the Turquoise Coast for its blue waters) will cost a family (two parents with two children) $400, compared with $600 a year ago — and there are still no takers.”

Karaso said that even connecting flights, the bread and butter of Istanbul’s international airports which until the coup continued to thrive despite the threat of terrorism, “are starting to show a decline of about 10% in orders compared with the previous Sunday.”

For Russian, European and Israeli vacationers, Turkey is not in the cards this summer, which will go down as Turkey’s lost summer. Efraim Kramer, CEO of tourism website Eshet Tours, told The Marker that tourism rates in Turkey “have come down because the Russians have stopped traveling to Turkey, and the Germans and English travel there less as well. We’re seeing an international phenomenon of tourists from Christian countries avoiding Muslim countries — we’ve seen it in Egypt, Tunisia and Marocco, and now in Turkey, too.”

Ayık told the Hürriyet Daily News that “the most fundamental lesson to be learned is to be in harmony with the world. It is the gist of our job. Our sector is one that goes hand-in-hand with peace. That’s why Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s statement that we will increase our friends and decrease our enemies will have a positive reflection on our sector. No matter how beautiful your country might be, if you don’t get along well with your neighborhood that means serious trouble for tourism.”

JNi.Media

Greece Talks About Ties with Iran

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Greek and Iranian government officials met this week in Athens for talks on developing economic, trade and industrial ties between the two countries.

Such a move could become a threat to the Jewish State, which has worked hard to develop closer ties with Athens. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem awarded an honorary doctorate to Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos during his state visit to Israel on March 30, citing his “warm relations with the State of Israel and the Jewish world.”

Iranian leaders have consistently maintained that government’s determination to “wipe the Zionist state off the map.”

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht-Ravanchi met with Greek Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism Giorgos Stathakis, and Minister of Environment of Energy Panos Skourletis, according to IRNA, the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Both sides “declared their political will to develop ties in different fields” according to the news outlet.

Greece has an embassy in Tehran, and Iran is represented by its embassy in Athens. A small Christian Greek community exists in Iran; there is a Greek Orthodox church in Tehran which opens mostly during the Greek Holy Week. But relations that date back millenia between the two nations — at one point, two empires — have laid dormant for decades.

The officials discussed development of oil and gas and renewable energies, pharmaceutical industries, “modern technologies,” shipbuilding and shipping, tourism and “promoting banking relations.”

Both nations allegedly expressed willingness to implement a document that was signed following a February 7 visit to Iran by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, according to the Iranian news agency.

Hana Levi Julian

FM Kahlon Tussles With Netanyahu Over Casinos in Eilat

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Kulanu party chairman and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon apparently is teaming up with Bayit Yehudi chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett in a minor political brawl against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The argument is over funding, as usual – this time, a plan to open a casino in Eilat.

In the past Kahlon has sidestepped the issue altogether by saying, “Everyone knows there will not be a casino here.”

The Finance Ministry has taken steps to block gambling activities that target Israelis and others who have low incomes and difficulty walking away from their hopes for easy money.

“Last week we decided to put an end to slot machines and horse races – gambling activities that ruin families. These machines are placed in poor neighborhoods to sell them illusions and hopes while taking money out of their pockets,” Kahlon said, according to the Globes business news site.

“Sadly, this has been going on since 2003 – it has been talked about for years and we decided to take action; soon we’ll remove them, and Mifal HaPayis can scrap them as far as I’m concerned.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu appointed Tourism Minister Yariv Levin to head a commission to look into the possibility of developing a gambling spot in the southern resort city.

But Kahlon told journalists at the start of the Kulanu faction meeting in the Knesset on Monday: “The State of Israel does not need casinos. It needs to provide education, values, and jobs – not a casino.”

Hana Levi Julian

Binyamin Council Launches Stunning Virtual Tour to Entice Tourism [video]

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Online visitors to the Binyamin Regional Council virtual tour can fly over the gorgeous landscapes and get a real feel for the region, then click on whatever grabs their fancy for an in-depth explanation.

In recent months the increase of tourism to Judea and Samaria has made international headlines with talk of the over 200 hundred Bed and Breakfasts options available, fifty of which are just in the Binyamin Region, north of Jerusalem. In the last five years, tourism has increased significantly across Judea and Samaria, and tourism-related businesses have more than doubled. Fifteen new visitors centers have opened, all of which offer presentations in multiple languages. The wine industry has also blossomed with more than 20 boutique wineries, making internationally acclaimed wine.

An estimated 1.5 million tourists visit sites across Judea and Samaria annually. The major demographic is faith-based tourists, both Jewish and Christian, with a special interest in Judeo-Christian history. A record number of Biblical sites have recently initiated new and extremely high-quality audio-visual presentations in multiple languages, including Shiloh, Hebron and the Herodian.

In recent years the Yesha Council together with the 6 regional councils and 13 local councils that it represents has invested a great deal of funds in telling its story to the world. Finding that the best way to explain the Israeli resettlement of Judea and Samaria is to invite people on life-changing visit of the area.

Talmonim Bicycle track, West Binyamin / Photo Credit: The Binyamin Regional Council

Talmonim Bicycle track, West Binyamin / Photo Credit: The Binyamin Regional Council

The Binyamin Regional Council has launched two new initiatives to highlight the abundance of new tourist attractions and internationally accessible programs this Passover. One is a video showcasing some of the 36 activities available from visiting ancient Shiloh to swimming in the 9 springs and riding camels at Eretz Bereshit to visiting internationally acclaimed wineries and breathtaking hikes across multiple nature reserves.

In addition, the council has launched a new website to showcase its wares, which includes a state of the art new virtual tour (still in beta version) which offers viewers a birds-eye view of Western Binyamin with the aid of hours of interactive drone footage.

The website offers additional resources and information to maximize and personalize tours.

“This Passover we are expecting a huge rise in tourism to the Binyamin region in particular and Judea and Samaria in general, because there is just so much more for people to do here. We are especially looking forward to welcoming all of our supporters from abroad that are visiting Israel for the holiday and understand the importance of visiting the Biblical heartland of Israel” Said Miri Maoz-Ovadia, spokesperson for the Binyamin Regional Council.

JNi.Media

More Than Three Million Tourists Visited Israel In 2015

Monday, January 11th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

A total of 3.1 million tourists visited Israel in the year 2015, according to figures released on Monday, January 11 by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Additionally, an all-time record was set in the number of Israeli departures abroad with almost six million departures.

The number of tourist arrivals represents a 4% decrease compared to 2014. The number of incoming tourists gradually increased between January and September, but the number plummeted from October to December due to the security situation caused by the upsurge in terror attacks by Palestinians.

“This past year was challenging because we were still recovering from Operation Protective Edge,” Tourism Ministry Spokesperson Anat Shihor-Aronson told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) last week, referring to the Gaza operation in the summer of 2014. “But we were also very successful as we almost reached the numbers we had in 2013.”

The largest number of incoming tourists in 2015 came from the United States with 637,000 arrivals, representing a 2% increase compared to the 2014 statistic.

A total of 415,000 tourists visited from Russia, representing a 25% decrease compared to the previous year. “We have to take into consideration that Russia is facing an economic crisis so we are still increasing our budget in regards to promoting Israel as a Russian tourist destination,” said Shilor-Aronson to TPS.

Other countries serving as the origin for the largest numbers of tourists visiting Israel in 2015 were France, Germany, the UK, Ukraine and Italy, respectively.

Meanwhile, the number of Israelis traveling abroad set an all-time record. A total of 5.9 million departures by Israeli citizens were recorded in 2015, representing an increase of 15% compared to 2014. More than a quarter of all departures were made during the summer months of July and August.

More than 3 million Israeli citizens traveled abroad during the year, representing a 12% increase over the previous year with 1.2 million of them departing the country more than once.

The CBS estimated the sharp increase in the number of departures to be a result of the introduction of low-cost flights in Israel and a result of the high value of the Israeli currency (the shekel) compared to the US dollar and the Euro.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Temple Mount Visits Down in 2015

Friday, January 8th, 2016

The number of Jews and non-Jews, excluding Muslims, that visited the Temple Mount (Har Habyit in Hebrew) in 2015 dropped from previous years, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

In the case of Jewish visitors, mostly religious, their numbers dipped slightly in 2015, solely due to the police restricting the physical number of Jews allowed onto the Jewish holy site.

Many Jews wait in line for hours at the gates to the Temple Mount, only to be denied entrance by the Israeli police. In addition, All Jewish visitors must receive special instructions from the police and some even undergo body searches.

By the end of 2015, Israeli Police were only allowing 15 religious Jews onto the Temple Mount at any given time, and only during very limited visiting hours, restricting visits to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Looking back to 2010, the number of Jews that went up in 2015 (10,766), was double the number that went up in 2010 (5,658). The demand is rising, but so are the restrictions.

Once on the Temple Mount, Jewish visitors are harassed and assaulted by the Muslims occupying the Jewish holy site, and often visits are forced to be cut short.

For non-Jewish, non-Islamic tourists, the numbers that visited the Temple Mount in 2015 severely dropped to less than half the amount that visited in 2010. This despite the fact that the number of tourists visiting Israel remained steady at around 3 million visitors a year.

In 2010, the number of non-Jewish (non-Muslim) tourists visiting the Temple Mount exceeded 400,000 visitors. In 2015, that number dropped to 193,000.

The reason the numbers of non-Jewish tourists dropped is due to the unpleasant and threatening atmosphere that is created by the Muslims and the Waqf on the Jewish holy site, towards the non-Islamic visitors.

Last year, the Waqf forced a group of Christian tourists off the Temple Mount, because they looked too Jewish.

There are virtually no numerical or time restriction on Muslim visits to Israel’s Temple Mount, except when the Arabs are rioting too much, and then the police may temporarily place age limits for a day.

The Temple Mount is the location of the two Jewish Temples, first built by King Solomon.

Shalom Bear

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/travel-news/temple-mount-visits-down-in-2015/2016/01/08/

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