[Freemanlist2] Tourism Ministry investing in China as visitation reaches record high

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Wed Jul 10 08:06:09 CDT 2013

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Tourism Ministry investing in China as visitation reaches record high 
07/09/2013 19:03     
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'Ministry has identified the tourism potential in China, defining it as one of the leading destinations in its campaign for emerging markets.'  
Tao Dance Theater Company of China Photo: Courtesy 
Noting China’s exponential tourism growth and interest in the Jewish state, the  Israeli Embassy in Beijing has launched an Israel-themed “Road Show” to market  the country, as well as ease visa restrictions for Chinese  visitors.
Israel has become an increasingly attractive tourism  destination for Chinese visitors, according to the Central Bureau of  Statistics.
	* TAU strengthens ties with China ahead of PM’s trip
	* PM’s talks in China focus on business ties
Indeed, in 2012, more than 20,000 visitors from China came to  the country, and there was a 27-percent rise in Chinese tourists in the first  five months of this year.

“The Tourism Ministry has identified the  tourism potential in China, defining it as one of the leading destinations in  its campaign for emerging markets,” Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said Monday. “As  a result, we will work to increase the number of incoming tourists from China to  Israel over the next few years.”

In an effort to seize on this momentum,  Landau said the Israeli Government Tourist Office in China has organizing a  “Road Show” in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou for the cities’ leading travel  agents which began Monday and will continue until Friday.

The Road Show  consists of seminars marketing Israeli tourism activities, and a series of  roundtable meetings between Israeli and Chinese tour operators to encourage  cooperation.
The ministry has also produced a booklet in Chinese,  featuring business profiles of the Israeli companies participating in the Road  Show.

Additionally, to spur greater tourism from China, the ministry will  offer visitors an option for a visa for independent travelers without the need  for assistance from a local tour operator, a simpler procedure for issuing  business visas to Israel, and bank guarantees for residents of Beijing, Shanghai  and Guangzhou, where Israel has consular offices.
According to CBS,  Israel has enjoyed record tourism growth this year.

A total of 1.7  million visitors arrived during the first two quarters, a 1% increase from the  same period in 2012, an 8% increase from 2011, and a 6% increase from 2010. Of  these visitors, 1.4 million were tourists, 1% less than 2012, 2% more than 2011  and 7% more than 2010.

“For the last few months, there has been an  increase in incoming tourism in comparison to figures from last year,” said  Landau. “The Tourism Ministry views tourism as an essential engine for economic  growth that creates new jobs in the periphery.”
“We will continue our  work in growing the number of visitors to Israel and realizing the tourism  potential,” he added.

In April, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced his  intention to make Israel one of the most visited countries in the  world.
“Eight years ago Jerusalem had a little over 2 million tourists a  year. I want to reach 10 million,” he said at a UJA Federation  conference.

“When we analyze where we were eight years ago, we can see  that we have huge potential to fulfill the vision of reaching the scale of  tourists seen by other cities,” he continued. “New York has 50 million tourists,  Paris has over 60 million, and Jerusalem had a little over 2 million – far from  where we should be.”

Chinese policy adviser, Middle East analyst        in Israel for four days of strategic briefings.

July 3, Tel Aviv – A leading adviser to the      Communist Party of China arrived in Israel Sunday afternoon for a      week of strategic dialogues. Mr. Ma Xiaolin’s visit serves to      advance an ongoing translation project of former Israeli      Ambassador to the UN, Dore Gold. He is also using his time in the      country to enhance bilateral understanding of regional security      concerns by attending strategic briefings with the Institute for      National Security Studies, the Institute for Policy and Strategy      at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya among others, as well      as participate in a strategic depth tour in the north and a Law      & Security Conference. 
Mr. Ma’s stay in Israel comes on the heels of      increased diplomatic activity between China and Israel, which was      bolstered by Benjamin Netanyahu’s highly anticipated visit to      Beijing in May. Since the PM’s visit, China has been making      unprecedented forays into Middle East peace processes because of      what it sees as a growing power vacuum with the United States’ new      pivot to East Asia. 
Mr. Ma’s meetings during his short stay are      delving into the most pressing issues facing the Middle East      today, such as the civil war in Syria, growing unrest in Egypt,      and increasing Islamic character of Turkey.
Mr. Ma Xiaolin is founder and president of blshe.com, an influential online news portal that covers China’s      relationship with the Middle East. His deep relationship with the      region began when he opened and led the Gaza bureau of the Xinhua      News Agency, the most prominent in China. 
Mr. Ma’s trip is organized and financed by      SIGNAL (Sino-Israel Global Network & Academic Leadership), is      an action-oriented NGO creatively engaging China to advance      Israel’s stability and security. Mr. Ma sits on SIGNAL’s Board of      Expert and Academic Advisers. 
For more information, please contact 

SIGNAL Communications and Strategic Director, Mr. Jake Morrel by      phone at +972-54-831-2602 or email at jakem at sino-israel.org.

SIGNAL Executive Director, Ms. Carice Witte by phone at      +972-52-488-6711 or email at carice at sino-israel.org.

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