“In 2014 we'll break our 2013 record,” said Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau at the opening of the annual International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) convention in Tel Aviv. Landau added that, though 2013 was a record year for tourism, and “we have reached an all-time record in tourists entering Israel, this year, we have improved tourism products, and I believe that this year, we will beat last year’s record. Tourism is a development engine for the economy in Israel, and the whole world.”
Landau also said, “Israel offers everything one could imagine: culture, history, holy sites, innovation and a young lifestyle in Tel Aviv, a green North - and all this can be found within a 90 minute radius of Tel Aviv.”
The convention, which opened yesterday and continues today at the convention hall in Tel Aviv is in its 20th year, and representatives from 50 countries are in attendance. Among countries represented are Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Slovakia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, France, Portugal, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, and Italy.
Incoming Israel Hotel Association (IHA) CEO Eli Gonen spoke at the convention and said: “I call upon you, the ambassadors who move around Israel freely and feel secure: please, encourage the citizens of your countries to come and visit us. Tourism has no borders. We all share goals and values with you: increasing internal tourism and relevant positions in the field and, of course, to contribute to and to strengthen our countries’ economies. We will provide tourists with the best services and products at the highest standards. We will make sure that they go home with an unforgettable experience from the Holy Land.”
Outgoing El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) CEO Elyezer Shkedy said, “El Al is a ‘super-brand,’ alongside Coca-Cola and Teva. We bear a heritage. We launched UP (El Al’s low-cost brand -S.P.), which offers flights from March 30 to 5 destinations in Europe. We believe that this the way to compete, and this is a wonderful opportunity for our customers.”
Shkedy also took advantage of the podium to say goodbye to the industry and said, “If mistakes were made, they were my own.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 12, 2014
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