Israeli model and actress Bar Refaeli will represent Israel in the World Travel Market tourism fair in London next week and will participate in the opening ceremony of the Israeli booth which will include a Dead Sea spa and massage treatments.
The 21 year-old model said in response that she is honored to take part in the efforts to promote Israel's tourism business around the world. Reports indicate she will be doing the job free of charge.
Bar Refaeli at her finest (Photo: Ron Kedmi)
However, sources within the tourism industry have expressed their concerns over the participation of the young model as she evaded her compulsory army service in favor of her career. An industry official said that "somebody in the Ministry of Tourism does not understand that Refaeli is not much of a role-model the state could be proud of."
Refaeli, girlfriend of Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, was featured this year on the cover of the world's leading magazines. Her mother Tzipi, who also serves as her agent, said that Bar will arrive in London directly from Palma De Mallorca in Spain where she is participating in an international fashion campaign.
Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog, who will attend the opening of the booth next week in London, said he was delighted that Refaeli has agreed to take part in the efforts to market Israel as a tourist destination. "Bar is a leading Israeli brand name," he said.
In response to a question if Refaeli was truly the best person for the job, the Tourism Ministry answered with a statement saying "there is no doubt that Bar Refaeli is a leading international brand name. In the London fair the ministry of tourism will attempt to display different Israeli face and it has nothing to do with anything else."