The Appointments Committee at the Tourism Ministry has confirmed the appointment of Susan Klagesbrun as director of the Israel Government Tourist Office in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Klagesbrun, who was born in Brazil and immigrated to Israel in 1977, has been working at the Tourism Ministry for 26 years and has served in the past as director of the Milan office and until recently head of the European Desk in the Marketing Administration.
With an increase in tourism from Brazil to Israel and the increasing potential for tourism to Israel, the ministry has decided to increase the volume of activity in Brazil. Up until now, the position was occupied by a local representative, and now, as stated, an Israeli representative will occupy the position.
Within the job description, Klagesbrun will manage the marketing policy in Brazil and will perform a wide range of activities with the local tourism industry to promote incoming tourism to Israel, including operations and joint ventures with local airlines, travel agencies and tour operators with international frameworks, arranging professional seminars, international tourism fairs and more.
The office will be provided with an annual budget of about NIS 5 million (about $1.33 million).
About 57,000 tourists arrived in Israel from Brazil in 2011 - an increase of 9% in comparison to the year 2010, the peak year for tourism to Israel.
Most citizens of Brazil are Christian, with 43% of all incoming tourists citing religious reasons and pilgrimage as the main reason for their visit.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov welcomed the appointment, noting that Brazil has the world's largest concentration of Catholics and that it was an important source of growth for incoming Israeli tourism.
He mentioned the Evangelical community, which has tens of millions of believers who are interested in visiting the holy places in the Holy Land, focusing on Jerusalem.
The Ministry of Tourism will increase marketing activity in Brazil in order to stimulate a 20% increase in incoming tourism for 2012.
The Ministry of Tourism operates 17 offices worldwide, including in Russia, France, England, Germany, Spain, Korea, the United States and more.
The offices are an extension of the Ministry of Tourism in different countries all over the world, and work on marketing tourism to Israel, based on the policies of the Ministry of Tourism.