Though not the Oscars or the Cannes Film Festival, tourism ministries from around the world are nevertheless already nervously awaiting the UN General Assembly in September, when the big winner of the United Nations World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) Video Competition will be revealed.
After years when the Israeli Tourism Ministry's campaign videos focused on landscapes, nature and food, this year it was decided to change direction in favor of an innovative campaign video called Two Cities. One Break, In which model Shir Elmaliach is featured holding out her hand and leading the viewers among the best attractions in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The campaign, which has already won several awards in Europe, has been published in nine different languages on various media from billboards, social networks, newspapers and television channels, and even on trains, public transport stations and more. The video also appeared on EuroSport during the prestigious cycling competition Tour de France.
The video is competing against other campaign videos from 61 different countries, and is judged both by professional judges is the field and via open vote for the world to weigh in.
To vote for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism video, you can enter the UN website, write your name and e-mail addres and choose the Israeli video from the available options.
The Israeli Tourism Ministry is making every effort to promote the video.
"The (Two Cities. One Break—ed) campaign is part of the marketing revolution that I promoted and which has proved itself in a tremendous tourist boom to Israel, which this year is breaking the record for the number of tourists coming to it," Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said on Wednesday. "I hope that the UN will also understand that Israel is a favorite tourist destination for tourists from all over the world."
As Levin stated, following the campaign, in 2017 there was a record number of tourists to Israel, with a 26 percent increase in the number of tourists who arrived in Israel during the first six months, compared to the same period last year.
The United Nations believes that the Israeli video has a good chance of winning or at least coming close because of the uniqueness of the short and rhythmic video in comparison to the other countries' videos, which chose to present mostly landscapes and interviews with tourists. Colombia, for example, who won first place in the previous year, decided to present an exceptionally long video, seven minutes in length, addressed mainly to the business community.
The Tourism Ministry's campaign invites tourists to take a "city break" in, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, by offering them special vacation packages with attractive discounts if they book the vacation using the campaign website.
Since the launch of the campaign in Europe, the video has received hundreds of millions of views, with more than 18.6 million people visiting the campaign site interested in vacationing in Israel.
The Ministry of Tourism said the video has made a significant contribution to the record tourist number in Israel this year, and model Shir Elmaliach herself was very excited about the participation of the video in the competition.
"I call on each of you to vote," she said on Wednesday. "Show the whole world who we are—the State of Israel."