The Ministry of Tourism’s Christian You Tube channel is attracting millions of viewers from around the world. Launched at the end of 2011, the channel crossed the 1.5 million mark this week, averaging 5,500 views per day. And while these numbers are quite tame compared to the truly viral clips on You Tube, the Ministry of Tourism views the channel as an important platform in exposing Israel to the Christian world, promoting tourism to Israel at a time when some large denominations are debating boycotting Israel altogether.
Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov says that You Tube “has turned into a central tool for the tourism industry. The positive reaction to the channel proves the significant interest among the Christian community regarding Israel.”
The channel features videos in several languages including English, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, and Polish. Those show community leaders and pilgrims telling about their spiritual experiences in Israel. There are also videos of Christian holy sites and holiday themed events that are unique to Israel.
The channel was created by the Ministry of Tourism’s Religious Desk, which is dedicated to encouraging Christian tourism to Israel. Marketing activities for Christian tourism is one of the Ministry of Tourism’s main programs. In 2011, NIS 60 million was invested in reaching out to Christian communities abroad, with a similar amount being invested again this year.