THE Israel Ministry of Tourism has tripled its marketing budget for India to US$3 million this year on the back of record year-on-year arrival growths of 13 per cent last year.
“Israel has been gaining popularity in India after we hosted the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) convention at the beginning of last year. In order to build on this momentum, we have increased the marketing budget significantly. We expect to welcome at least 60,000 Indian tourists by the end of 2016,” said Amir Halevi, director general, Israel Ministry of Tourism.
“We will be investing a lot on digital marketing, PR and FAM trips for journalists and the travel trade. We also plan to engage Bollywood.”
Part of the budget will also be used to launch an advertising campaign across print and digital channels during India’s summer season. Both country’s tourism boards will also be rolling out joint promotions with Indian OTAs like Ezeego.com.
Hassan Madah, India director, Israel Ministry of Tourism, said: “At present, we are working on the creatives of the campaign, which will target major Indian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
“Our focus last year was on B2B platforms as we wanted to educate the travel trade about our product offerings. However, we want to do more B2C activities in 2016.”
However, the trade feels that lack of direct connectivity remains an obstacle. “Israel needs to open up more direct flights from cities like New Delhi in order to maintain strong arrivals from India,” said Ashok Singhal, founder, Maestro Travels.