Israel hails increased air capacity as UK visitor numbers rise

Israel hails increased air capacity as UK visitor numbers rise

New airline links developed in recent years between the UK and Israel have helped British visitor numbers to the Middle Eastern destination rise by 7% over the past 12 months.

British holidaymakers flying to Israel can choose services from Monarch Airlines, easyJet, British Airways and El Al from a range of UK airports.

The Israel Government Tourist Office hopes the upwards trend will continue, with Monarch Airlines operating a winter-sun flight between London Luton and the Red Sea city of Eilat, Israel’s southernmost point, from December 2016 until late April 2017.

The IGTO will be at World Travel Market London (7-9 November) to promote the various air links as well as a range of new accommodation.

Hotels which opened in 2016 include the Poli House in Tel Aviv and the Herbert Samuel in Jerusalem, while 2017 will see the opening of the eagerly anticipated W Hotel Jaffa.

The tourist board said another reason for the rise in visitor numbers from the UK is the ease of travelling around Israel.

“The distance between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is just one hour by car, meaning that visitors can easily combine a holiday by the sea with a cultural trip to one of the oldest cities in the world,” said a spokesperson.

“Day trips to the Dead Sea, Akko and the Negev Desert are also very easily reached by car.”

This year, much of IGTO’s marketing has promoted twin city breaks to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Its latest campaign, Two Cities. One Break, has seen IGTO launch twin-city holidays to Israel, which can be enhanced with dinners for two, entry to attraction, and concert or theatre tickets, with tourism partners such as BA Holidays, Superstar Holidays, Travelink and others.

As well as delegates from the Ministry of Tourism, the Israel stand will have representatives from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Akko and Eilat, as well as the private sector.

The Jerusalem Development Authority will be promoting the city’s wide range of events, such as the Open House Festival, Light Festival, Sacred Music Festival and Jerusalem Marathon.

Stand: EU850

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