WTM 2015: Israel seeks to reposition as winter-sun and city break destination

WTM 2015: Israel seeks to reposition as winter-sun and city break destination

The launch of direct flights to Eilat and Tel Aviv next month will help reposition Israel as a winter sun and city break destination for the UK market, according to its tourism chief.

Monarch will begin weekly services from Luton to Eilat every Thursday, and three times a week to Tel Aviv, from December 3 until April 2016.

Speaking at World Travel Market, Amir Halevi, director general of the Israel Ministry of Tourism, said: “The city break is becoming very popular now with the rise of low-cost airlines, but this year we have more than six times the number of weekly flights to Eilat from around Europe, so it’s becoming better known as a winter sun destination.”

Israel has seen an 8% rise in visitor numbers from the UK so far this year, and is investing in a new international airport for Eilat set to open in 2016, as well as new hotel development and plans for a casino to be built on the site of the current airport.

UK & Ireland director, Naama Oryan-Kaplan, said: “Eilat’s strongest USP is the fact that it’s a city, not just a beach resort. If someone is going scuba diving or for a family holiday, you can also enjoy the full city life with shopping, clubbing or family attractions.

“We expect an increase in traffic as it becomes more accessible, and we would hope to double the number of flights for next year. Eilat has been off the radar for a few years, but people do know about it and we hope to use this awareness going forward. We think Eilat can offer a very good alternative to other winter destinations.”

The Dead Sea will also see a significant jump in hotel product with a further 5,000 rooms due to be added over the next five years.


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