BRIDGE TO PEACE: WTM TO HOST THE FIRST MEETING OF THE MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR TOURISM FROM ISRAEL, THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES AND BAHRAIN SINCE THE SIGNING OF THE ABRAHAM ACCORD AGREEMENTS
Government representatives will discuss future plans to use tourism as a path to peace
At the initiative of the Israel Government Tourist Office in London, a historic encounter will take place on 9th November at WTM Virtual, the second largest international tourism fair, when the ministers in charge of tourism from Israel, UAE and Bahrain will come together for the first time on a virtual stage.
They will take part in a WTM Virtual session entitled Tourism: The Path to Peace in the Middle East, which will take place immediately after the Ministers’ Summit, on Monday 9th November. The ministers will discuss existing tourism opportunities, and the role that tourism can play in helping ensure peace in the region.
The fair, which will be held in a digital format for the first time, will allow pre-arranged meetings and will provide a platform for industry representatives to publicize websites and marketing materials. The Ministry of Tourism is assisting about 50 Israeli tourism companies to participate in the fair at the Israeli pavilion.
On day one of WTM Virtual, seven weeks after the historic agreements were signed, WTM will host an important discussion among tourism ministers from the three destinations. Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Minister of Tourism for Israel; Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises for the UAE and H.E. Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to the Kingdom of Bahrain and Chairman of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, will discuss the tourism opportunities now available and determine the role that tourism will play in helping to secure long-standing peace in the region.
The Abraham Accords, signed on the 15th September, set in motion a host of business opportunities and intergovernmental agreements between Israel and the UAE, as well as creating exciting tourism prospects in the region for the first time. Concurrently, Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain also signed an agreement to launch full diplomatic relations. As a result of the Abraham Accords, the Israel Transportation Ministry announced there will be 28 direct weekly passenger flights connecting Tel Aviv with Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The Ministry of Tourism says that the agreements provide a basis for official dialogue between the countries and set new opportunities for tourism. Those involved hope tourism between the destinations will provide the chance to establish peace on a deeper level within the Middle East region.
WTM Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “The session will provide a fascinating insight into how co-operating on tourism and trade – encouraging people to engage with different cultures and experience new places, sample different food and take part in different activities – can advance peace.
“WTM has always understood the unique way that travel promotes tolerance, empathy and cross-cultural understanding. When people travel, they form friendships, engage in dialogue and are able to see things from a different perspective. When flight paths open up, the prospect for new business becomes a reality, which creates wealth and opportunity for destinations and their citizens. The post-COVID possibilities are endless for this region and we’re excited that WTM Virtual has been able to facilitate such an important meeting and play a part in history.”
Israel Minister of Tourism, Orit Farkash-HaCohen, said: “Governments sign agreements, but people make peace. The development of bilateral tourism between countries is very significant in the economic cooperation between countries, and tourist traffic between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain is the fulfilment of peace agreements.
“I have already spoke with my counterpart in the UAE, minister H.E. Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, and even with the head of tourism in Dubai, HE Helal Saeed Al Marri. There are draft umbrella agreements for mutual cooperation in the field of tourism between the countries and I look forward to a conversation also with my Bahraini counterpart, HE Zayed R. Alzayani. We are preparing for and expecting citizens to visit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the Galilee and the Dead Sea when the skies open.”
Tourism: The Path to Peace in the Middle East, featuring the tourism ministers of Israel, UAE and Bahrain, will take place on Monday 9th November, from 3pm – 4pm (GMT).
More information on media registration, here.
About the Israel Government Tourism Office
The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO), founded in 1964, is Israel’s national tourism office. Tourism in Israel has steadily grown, with 2019 seeing a record 4.5 million+ inbound tourists.
In IGTO’s latest campaign, Two Cities, One Break, travellers are encouraged to visit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, which serve as diverse destinations that boast the country’s mineral beaches, Bauhaus architecture, 3,000 year old history and biblical background.
Israel is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Acre and Masada.
For more details on accommodation, things to do and transportation in Israel, please visit: Goisrael.com