'Over 80,000 Indian tourists expected to visit Israel by Dec'
Chandigarh, Oct 25 (PTI) Israel is expecting over 80,000 Indian travellers by December this year, a senior official of the Israel Ministry of Tourism said here Thursday.
The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMoT) conducted a roadshow in the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana this afternoon to enhance commercial ties with Indian travel trade fraternity.
"By end of this year, we are expecting 80,000-90,000 Indian tourists to visit Israel," Director of IMOT, India and Philippines, Hassan Madah, said.
The middle eastern nation has been witnessing a steady year-on-year growth in tourist arrivals from India, he said.
"India has always been an important market for us especially with the growth of Indian arrivals to Israel in the last four years. There has been a growth of 84.6 per cent from January to September when compared to 26,400 arrivals in 2014 and 48,800 Indian visitors in 2018," Madah told PTI here.
He said a lot of initiatives have contributed to this rise including the recent reduction in visa fee for Indian travellers.
"Besides, several measures, including Air India launching its fastest non-stop direct flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv in March this year with a one-way duration of seven hours and 10 minutes.
"In another two weeks time, Air India is going to add its fifth flight to Israel, which will give further boost to tourism," he said. Israel has positioned itself as an affordable premium destination, he said, adding they are targeting travellers mainly for leisure, pilgrimage, business meetings, conferences and events including weddings. "Israel has also quickly become middle east's newest business tourism destination, gaining popularity with the Indian corporate segment. A number of world class hotels, state-of-the-art convention centres, amazing beaches, thriving nightlife, international cuisine and modern infrastructure across cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are features that lure the business traveller," he said. Madah said the relations between the two countries have got a further boost by the visits of prime ministers of the two countries. Israel is also wooing Bollywood in a big way, he said.
"We want to connect with the Bollywood, we want to bring them to Israel for shooting. Besides, we are also collaborating on the technology side of the film making industry," he said.
Sushant Singh Rajput and Jacqueline Fernandez starrer "Drive" has also been shot in Israel, he said.