Israeli tourism authorities lave launched the first campaign promoting its local travel destinations in Romania, in an attempt to lure more Romanian tourists to enjoy not just the “Holy Land” sights but also its beaches on the Mediterranean coast or on the Dead Sea, the desert or the spots of Tel Aviv, nightclubs and fine restaurants.
The Israeli officials are counting on the growing number of the Romanian tourists who visit Israel, the continuing expansion of the tourism infrastructure in Israel and the increase of the direct flights from Romania to Israel.
The campaign, starring model Shir Elmaliach, is focused on promoting a city break package, more precisely the two iconic cities of Israel: Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. “Two cities, one break!” is the slogan that reunites the two cities, which are so different, but which provide such a wide range of tourist traps.
Ami Allon, director for Central and Eastern Europe at Israel Ministry of Tourism told an event launching the campaign in Bucharest on Tuesday evening that this is Israel’s first national campaign ever conducted in Romania. “This is a very important campaign for us. One of the reasons we try to do a strong campaign is that we understand how hard is to sell a product when your target audience doesn’t know the product,” he stated.
Ami Allon says the Israeli tourism authorities have been eyeing Romania for about one year and a half, being encouraged to enter the local market due to the increasing number of flights from Romania to Israel in the past two years and due the previous prospecting research revealing that 75% of the Romanians are interested in going to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and 37% of the respondents say they have been to Israel in the past 3 years. The findings of the study also show that only 30% of the Romanian tourists are price oriented. This year there has been a boom in the number of Romanian tourists visiting Israel, about 43,800 in the first eight months, with a 50% rise compared to last year.
So, if so far most of the Romanian tourists have been to Israel in search for its holy places, this time the campaign is targeting a different audience, mainly young people eager for travelling and for city breaks, and that’s explains the move to make a bridge between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, a two-in-one offer providing completely different experiences.
“It’s a unique campaign, as people are not used to have city breaks in two destinations, especially in such two different cities. In Jerusalem, you go to pray and in Tel Aviv you go to party, you would think it’s hard to combine that. But it is actually possible, because not all the people go to Israel just for praying, they also need time to relax, to go to the beach, to enjoy the promenade, the restaurants,” Allon said, adding that Israel can be a cheap destination as well, while informing that one more reason to visit Israel next year is that the “Big Start” of the the 2018 Giro d’Italia will feature three stages in Israel, providing an exquisite view over the Israel from northern to southern country.
Also present in Bucharest on Tuesday to launch the campaign for the urban vacation in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Amir Halevi, director general in the Israeli Ministry of Tourism said that the connection of the Romanian and Jewish people is very strong, due to its bonds in the past. “It’s time to make the ties stronger. About 300,000 Israelis come from Israel to Romania every year, which is good for the economy, for the bilateral relations. And now we are here to create more traffic for the Romanian people, as there is a great potential due to the strong economy in Romania and we have very unique destinations in Israel, wonderful tourism products. And we are here to create more connections, to find partners and to continue the upward trend in Israel, which became this year one of the top ten countries on tourism growth, almost 30% more this year, a record year. Particularly for Romania, this year there will be 50,000 more tourists and with you I am sure we’ll continue the momentum for the upcoming year,” the Israeli official stated.
According to him, there are currently about 60 weekly flights from Israel to Romania and for the first time this year there is a direct flight Bucharest-Eilat (editor note-Eilat resort city is the most southern city of Israel, about 320km away from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, stretching on the coast where the desert meets the Red Sea). “Eilat is providing 100% sunshine even when there is winter in Europe, offering 1,000 hotels, experiences of hiking and biking in the desert. This year we have a direct flight from Bucharest to Eilat, with two more flights added,” Amir Halevi said.
Referring to the city-break campaign, he pointed out that even if for many Israel is the Holy Land, yet there are also other great things to do in Israel. “That’s why we chose to launch the two-city campaign, one unique combination between Tel Aviv, the non-stop city and Jerusalem. So many Israelis travel in Romania and we want to change it, to have the opposite,” he said, while underlining that Israel is a safe destination and provides sunny weather a long period of the year. “We have the perfect weather. For instance, now the water temperature of the sea in Tel Aviv is Jacuzzi-like, 28-29C. We hope to develop a huge market in Romania, and Romanians we’ll travel by car or by plane to Israel,” Halevi concluded.