A tourism guide of Israel, written in Japanese, won second place in sales among 100 guides on international tourism belonging to the Globetrotter series in Japan.
The new book came out following a visit of several months by a Japanese team who toured historic sites, hotels, restaurants, clubs and other attractions in the country. The team was assisted by Israel's Tourism Ministry, which gave recommendations and provided ministry tour guides to accompany them.
The Tourism Ministry reported that, pursuant to the success of the Japanese guide, it is currently being translated into a Korean version that is expected to come out in a few months.
The ministry emphasized the significance of the guidebook, noting that most Japanese tourists who travel independently rely heavily on guidebooks for direction.
It was also found that even Japanese traveling in organized groups purchased the book before leaving Japan.
According to Shaul Zemach, the Director-General of the Tourism Ministry, "East Asian nations constitute a growing market in international tourism. The Tourism Ministry, thinking long-term, is interested in capitalizing on Israel's appeal in these growing markets and turning that interest into a real desire to visit in Israel."
Some 135,000 East Asian tourists visited Israel last year, up 20% from 2007. The Tourism Ministry opened a new tourism bureau in China in 2009 and has had a tourism bureau in South Korea for over a decade.
The Globetrotter book series is affiliated with the New Holland British publishing house. The books are written for tourists who are visiting a new country for the first time. Over a hundred of different locations have been published so far.