JANUARY 2013 Vol. 6 - Issue 1    
GREETINGS FROM THE COMMISSIONER 

 
Dear Friends,  

2013 is off to a great start, with exciting new art exhibitions, sporting events and music festivals taking place throughout the country.

 

And with average daily temperatures in the low 60's, now is the perfect time for travelers to explore Israel's diverse collection of historic sites, high-end hotels, restaurants and museums and breathtaking landscapes.


haimsignature


Shalom,

Haim Gutin
Israel Tourism Commissioner, North and South America

2012 SETS NEW ALL-TIME HIGH FOR VISITOR ARRIVALS TO ISRAEL

A new all-time high for visitor entries to Israel was set in 2012 with the arrival of 3.5 million travelers, a 5% increase compared to 2011

VAN GOGH ALIVE EXHIBITION COMES TO TEL AVIV, 

FEBRUARY 3 - MARCH 3

Tel Aviv will host "Van Gogh Alive," a multimedia exhibition highlighting the works of artist Vincent Van Gogh, at the Israel Convention Center in Tel Aviv, February 3 - March 3. The groundbreaking exhibition has been viewed by more than 300,000 individuals around the world and features giant, life-like figures and massive HD screens with projections characterizing the works of Van Gogh. http://vangogh-alive.com

GOOGLE STREET VIEW ADDS NEW SITES IN ISRAEL

Google Street View has recently been updated with new real-time images of sites around Israel, including Haifa's National Museum of Science, Technology & Space, as well as the ancient Nabataean cities of Mamshit and Shivta, two of Israel's seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The new images follow the launch of Google Street View in Israel in April 2012, which offers real-time footage of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beersheba.

TEL AVIV ONE OF THE WORLD'S FIRST CITIES TO PROVIDE FREE CITYWIDE WIFI

Residents and travelers to Tel Aviv will receive free WiFi connection beginning in March 2013 as part of a new project initiated by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality. Voted one of the "Three Most Innovative Cities in the World" by the Wall Street Journal, Tel Aviv-Jaffa will provide free WiFi access near 80 major locations around the city, including the city's Mediterranean promenade, Florentin Street, Park Hayarkon and Old Jaffa, as well as major city streets, parks and tourism sites. Effectively, the entire city will be covered by fall 2013.

NEW FLIGHTS LAUNCHED FROM EUROPE TO ISRAEL

ben gurion

Several European airlines have recently announced new service to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. Hungarian airline Wizz Air recently launched four weekly flights from Budapest to Tel Aviv; Scandinavian Airlines is now offering four weekly flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv; and Finnair will begin operating direct flights from Helsinki to Tel Aviv in summer 2013.  

ISRAEL'S GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERY SELECTED AS A "NEW WORLD WINERY OF THE YEAR" BY WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE

The Golan Heights Winery in northern Israel was recently selected as a "New World Winery of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast magazine, the first time an Israeli winery has received the prestigious award. The Golan Winery is currently open to the public for tours, wine tastings and other wine-focused workshops. www.golanwines.co.il

NEW BIRD SANCTUARY AND ECOLOGY CENTER OPENS IN NEOT KEDUMIM NEAR JERUSALEM

A new bird and ecology center recently opened at the Neot Kedumim Reserve, also known as the Biblical Landscape Reserve, in the Ben Shemen Forest located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The center offers birding and ecologIcal tours within a biblical context, and presents research including a bird ringing station for long-term monitoring of migrations. www.neot-kedumim.org.il

WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FEDCUP TENNIS TOURNAMENT IN EILAT, FEBRUARY 10 -15

Israel's seaside resort town of Eilat will host the annual FedCup International Women's Tennis Tournament, February 10-15, 2013. The tournament will include teams from Belarus, including tennis superstar Victoria Azarenka, as well as Austria, Poland, Great Britain, Romania and Israel, among others. www.fedcup.com/en/home.aspx

ISRAELI OPERA ANNOUNCES VERDI'S LA TRAVIATA AT MASADA, JUNE 2014 

masadaoperaweekend

Following last year's highly successful Carmen at Masada Opera Festival, the Israeli Opera will host several performances of Verdi's La Traviata on a specially erected stage at the foothills of Masada, Israel, June 2014. The festival will also include a performance by world-renowned Israeli music group The Idan Raichel Project. 

NEW SKATE PARK TO BE BUILT IN EILAT

Israel's seaside resort city of Eilat will unveil a new 6,500-square-foot indoor skate park in fall 2013. The skate park will be part of a new indoor/outdoor sporting and leisure compound which will also include a musical fountain, extreme sports park, visitors' center, an amphitheater and green spaces. 

IN THIS ISSUE:
2012 SETS NEW ALL-TIME HIGH FOR VISITOR ARRIVALS TO ISRAEL
VAN GOGH ALIVE EXHIBITION IN TEL AVIV, FEBRUARY 3 - MARCH 3
GOOGLE STREET VIEW ADDS NEW SITES IN ISRAEL
TEL AVIV ONE OF THE WORLD'S FIRST CITIES TO PROVIDE FREE CITYWIDE WIFI
NEW FLIGHTS LAUNCHED FROM EUROPE TO ISRAEL
ISRAEL'S GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERY SELECTED AS A NEW WORLD WINERY OF THE YEAR
NEW BIRD SANCTUARY AND ECOLOGY CENTER OPENS IN NEOT KEDUMIM NEAR JERUSALEM
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FEDCUP TENNIS TOURNAMENT IN EILAT, FEBRUARY 10-15
ISRAELI OPERA ANNOUNCES VERDI'S LA TRAVIATA AT MASADA, FESTIVAL, JUNE 2014
NEW SKATE PARK TO BE BUILT IN EILAT
MEDIA CONTACTS:

 Ross Belfer
Geoffrey Weill Associates
Tel: 866-PR-WEILL

Gail Barzilay
Israel Ministry of Tourism
Northeast Region
Tel: 212-499-5647

Joe Diaz
Israel Ministry of Tourism
Southern Region
Tel: 404-541-2770

Israel Ministry of Tourism
Midwest Region
Tel: 312-803-7077

 

Israel Ministry of Tourism
Western Region
Tel: 323-658-7463 

 

                                       

ISRAEL GOVERNMENT
TOURIST OFFICES

NORTH AMERICA

New York
Director:
Shahar Alon

212-499-5650

Atlanta
 Director: Joe Diaz
404-541-2770

Chicago
Director:
Omer Eshel

 312-803-7080

Los Angeles
Director:
Eliezer Hod
323-658-7463

Toronto
Director:
Ami Allon
 416-964-3784


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Geoffrey Weill Associates
Informational material is disseminated on behalf of the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
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