Saturday,  February 4, 2023  1:43 am

Israel wraps up 2022 with strong Canadian visitation numbers

Israel wraps up 2022 with strong Canadian visitation numbers
Exploring the markets of Jerusalem. (Steven Bereznai/Pax Global Media)
Pax Global Media

The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) is finishing 2022 on a high note, reporting strong momentum from visitors, including more than 60,000 tourists from Canada who arrived in Israel (60 per cent of 2019 numbers) with a rise to 81 per cent in November 2022.

The IMOT on Thursday (Dec. 15) also cited high demand for 2023 and 2024.

IMOT in Canada celebrated the end of 2022 with events – its final gathering took place at Parallel restaurant, in Toronto, with a full Israeli culinary experience for its advisory board and other key stakeholders.

Masada, an ancient fortress in Israel’s Judean Desert. (Steven Bereznai/Pax Global Media)

“The travel industry challenges are diverse, and as such, we need a broader perspective as we enter 2023. Our advisory board members are from the entire ecosystem and provide vast array of experience in marketing, product, media and more. We applaud their respective insights, advice, and sense of proactive support throughout this past year,” said Gal Hana, Israel Consul for Tourism to Canada.

Among other success stories for 2022 were multiple FAM and media trips to Israel.

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Highlights included an activation of a major campaign with TravelBrands, which is making Israel visible cross Canada. Other marketing agreements with key stake holders including, Indus Travel and Dan Tours.

A scene from the Dead Sea. (Steven Bereznai/Pax Global Media)

There was also a first-ever collaboration with Tourism Dubai, and other partnerships with Mediterranean-based tourist boards, namely Portugal and Greece.

The result of these activities is an increased travel-trade awareness and expanded distribution channels with more agents selling Israel more than ever before, said the IMOT.

“We were very busy this year and executed much of our work plan and strategy, despite the rough first quarter of 2022,” said Hana.

“The recovery has been swift"

Since Israel opened its borders in 2022, “the recovery has been swift,” the Ministry said.

From Canada, Israel has returned to about 80 per cent of its 2019 numbers, with high demand for 2023. 

Moreover, as Israel will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in 2023, the demand to visit the country is higher than usual with added events that will take place across the country throughout the year.

More recently, events included a private World Cup viewing party, as well as a collaborative event with Travel Portugal and TAP Airlines in Toronto, followed by a first in-person event in Montreal for travel professionals.

Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel. (Sander Crombach)

Promotional campaigns are in the works with travel trade media and consumer publications for Q1 of 2023, to seize momentum, and fulfill the potential of the Canadian market to Israel.

2023 is a “key year in the recovery” for Israel as the Ministry of Tourism has plans for FAM trips, campaigns, and marketing partnerships with numerous stakeholders across the market.

“One of our goals is the universal removal of the phrase and disposition noting Israel simply as a ‘Bucket List Destination’ used by persons looking for any excuse not to consider Israel as their destination of choice, and replace that term with ‘I’m Going Now’ noting to all that Israel is the best all-encompassing value proposition place to go in 2023,” Hana said.

“More hotels, and renovated city infrastructures including mass transit, and unique places like the Dead Sea, the Negev Desert, and the Galilee, all within few hours away from each other.”

For more information, visit Israel.Travel.

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