Monday, December 01, 2003

THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT is mounting a �2 million campaign (about $3.4 million) to promote tourism in Israel according to the London Times. Excerpts:

Among the country�s selling points are the old city and Western Wall in Jerusalem, the international opera festival at Caesarea, the site of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and scuba diving at the Red Sea resort of Eilat.


The value of tourism to Israel has fallen from �2.3 billion in 2000, with 3 million visitors, to �1 billion last year. But the Israel Tourist Board has found that the figures are reviving this year, with large numbers of Christian groups visiting religious sites alongside Jewish travellers.

Visitor numbers began to increase after the Iraq war, with 54 per cent more people coming to the country in July than in the previous summer.

A spokesman for the Israel Tourist Board said: �Even though the media magnify the problems in Israel, the reality is Israel is a safe place to visit. Security is stringent and tourists are not targeted, while El Al is probably the safest airline flying at present.�

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