Monday, September 20, 2010
First the Russian tourists, Now the Chinese - Wow
The Israeli Tourism Ministry Director General has now signed a tourism cooperation agreement with the Director General of the Shanghai Tourism Ministry. In the agreement, the two sides declared the importance of tourism as a means of promoting ties between the two countries and agreed to work together to advance tourism between Israel and Shanghai, in addition to the exchange of information, advertising and the encouragement and advancement of investments and joint initiatives.
As with the Russians, visa restrictions were lifted and now for the Chinese there has been a promise to raise the visa issue with the Interior and Foreign Ministries in order to remove the obstacles and find solutions that will encourage the Chinese tourist to visit Israel.
“The Chinese tourism market holds enormous potential for Israel and, despite annual growth, we have not yet begun to realize this potential. The tourism industry in China in general and in Shanghai and Beijing in particular displays great interest in and is happy to cooperate with Israel. Simplifying the bureaucratic procedures and increasing airline traffic will facilitate a significant increase in incoming tourism from China.” said the Director General
Outgoing tourism from China over the last decade has recorded impressive and fast growth with great potential for future growth. In 2009, more than 40 million tourists traveled from China, about 15% traveling to Europe and the States. This represents a potential target audience for incoming tourism to Israel.
In 2009, 10,000 tourists visited Israel from China and about 7,000 have visited from January-August 2010 (an increase of over 100% on the same period last year and 26% more than 2008).