The Tourism Ministry has announced the launch of a new NIS 6 million ($1.55 million) campaign to promote incoming tourism.
The campaign, entitled “Invite a friend”, will encourage Israeli residents and Israelis overseas to encourage friends, family and colleagues from around the world to visit Israel.
Those taking part in the campaign will send out invitations to visit Israel via a dedicated website launched by the Tourism Ministry.
The website includes video clips and postcards specially created for the campaign, complete with interesting information about Israel. Everyone sending a postcard via the website is eligible for a lottery ticket, with prizes of vacations in Israel.
The nine-week campaign, in cooperation with Keshet Broadcasting and the MAKO website, is expected to go live on October 23 at www.kol1mevi1.org.il.
The more invitations issued via Facebook, Twitter or email, the bigger the chance of winning one of the 200 vacation packages offered by the MAKO website in the lottery.
The Tourism Ministry said in a statement that it believes Israelis will take advantage of this opportunity to help promote incoming tourism and will rise to the challenge, out of an understanding of the importance to the economy: For every 36 tourists, one new job is created and NIS 225,000 ($58,140) injected into the economy.
A record number of tourists arrived in Israel in the months January through August 2012 – 2.3 million, 7% more than the same period last year.
The Tourism Ministry selected Israeli actress Noa Tishby to lead the campaign because of her activities to promote Israel’s image overseas and her work in bringing opinion-formers to visit Israel.
Tishby dedicates her free time to promote Israel’s image and writes about the country on her official blog and social media, and addresses conferences in the United States.
"This is a national campaign that combines Zionism with the tourism industry’s economic value to the economy and employment, without cynicism," said Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov.
"We are expecting widespread participation and believe that everyone can leverage the power of influence on their surroundings in order to bring more tourists to Israel.
"Incoming tourism contributes about NIS 18 billion ($4.65 billion) annually, creates thousands of new jobs, mainly in the periphery, and serves to improve Israel’s image.”