ISRAEL’s ministry of tourism has stepped up marketing efforts in India with a focus on digital and television campaigns that kick-started in August.
The NTO also organised its maiden roadshow in India covering Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai last month with plans to introduce an online training programme for travel agents in the next few months.
Tel Aviv, Israel
"It is our first major advertisement campaign in India that we have designed to cater to high-end and experienced travellers. We are investing around 7 million shekels (US$1.8 million) on the campaign," said Hassan Madah, director, Israel Ministry of Tourism, India.
The tourism board had engaged with Indian travel agents before. Now, the NTO hopes promote different segments.
"We are looking to highlight our offerings for segments like adventure, incentive, spa and wellness. Also, many new hotels are coming up in Israel. So we are planning to introduce a new training programme for Indian travel agents that will include all this information," said Madah.
The NTO is also in talks with Air India to begin direct flights to Tel Aviv. Israel's second largest carrier Arkia has shown interest to operate flights to India as well, and at present is awaiting delivery of three Dreamliners before beginning operations.
"Connectivity is a major challenge for the growth of tourist arrivals from India. We believe that once new sectors open up for direct connection between the two countries, there will be a healthy increase in tourist arrivals from India," added Madah.
At present, El Al Israel Airlines is the only one operating direct flights between Mumbai and Tel Aviv.
Israel recorded about 40,000 Indian tourist arrivals last year. It is expecting a 10 per cent increase in foreign arrivals from the market this year.