Israel tourism office maintains trade communications amid conflict

The Israel Government Tourism Office says it remains on hand to support and advise the trade until the “time is right” for tourists to return to the destination once the situation in Gaza has stabilised.

Michael Ben Baruch, UK director of the Israeli Tourism Office, spoke as the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza approached the seventh week since it began on October 7.

He said: “We are here for the trade, for anything they need. We are in regular contact with our stakeholders; airlines and tour operators.”

Speaking after Israel’s tourism office pulled out of this year’s World Travel Market, he said the tourist board’s WhatsApp number and email address remained available for anyone needing information and guidance.

He said: “We continue to provide information on Whatsapp to whoever needs it and the UK office is still here as always. With WTM, we felt the right thing to do was to stop the public activities.

“Like everyone else we are waiting for the situation to get better.  We are here and we will be here when the situation stabilises.”

He added that “when the time is right” the tourism office would aim to “regain the trust of the British tourist and see a natural, gradual recovery of tourism”.

Thanking the trade for its support, he said tour operators had reported that clients were postponing rather than cancelling trips.

“We are in contact with all the traditional tour operators selling Israel and all of them are just waiting for the situation to stabilise so we can sell again. Thank you to everyone for their support,” he said.

The UK is one of Israel’s top five international tourism markets. In 2019, there were a record 230,000 British visitors to Israel.

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