Photo Credit: / HLJ
Jordan River site where Christians carry out baptism rites in Israel

The Israel Minister of Tourism Haim Katz arrived Monday in the United States to participate in the world’s largest convention for Christian media, the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) Christian Media Convention, which opens Tuesday (Feb. 20) in Nashville, Tennessee.

“The year 2024 will be characterized by faith-based and solidarity tourism,” Katz said in remarks prior to his departure from Israel. “The NRB convention is a key event to garner support and promote travel to Israel.


“The American market is the largest source market for Israel, with the highest figures for incoming tourism and very significant for the Israeli economy. We must maintain the momentum and especially in light of the war, encourage tourism to Israel as much as possible.”

More than 4,000 Christian communicators are participating in the convention, including representatives of television stations broadcasting to millions globally, radio, print media and senior clergy.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism will have a dedicated booth at the convention where participants will be exposed to the Christian pilgrim and tourist experience in Israel. The booth will also provide a platform for representatives from Israel, including tour operators, social organizations, business entrepreneurs and others looking to create collaborations.

The United States is the largest source country for incoming tourism, according to the 2023 Inbound Tourism Survey conducted by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. In 2023, there was a 12 percent increase in tourist arrivals from the US, compared to the previous record year of 2019.

According to the report, the American tourist spends about 50 more than the average spent by other nationalities while in Israel.

More than half (56 percent) of tourists visiting Israel are Christians; about a fifth (21 percent) of all tourism to Israel is defined as “pilgrimage”.

Katz and his delegation are working to strengthen the ministry’s collaboration with tour operators and opinion leaders in the Christian world with a focus on expanding Christian tourism to Israel.

The minister is slated to meet with marketing and media companies specializing in the Christian market, including TBN, the largest Evangelical television network in the USA, and the prominent Salem Group, which appeals to a conservative Christian audience, among other sectors.

Katz is also scheduled to meet with the InterNova Travel Group, one of the largest in the USA, and with the director of the United States Tour Operators (USTOA).


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.