Jews lose as Israel tourism targets Christians

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

The managing director of one of the UK's major Israel travel agents has hit out at the country's tourist industry for high prices and "neglecting Jewish tourists".

Simon Israel, of Expert Travel in Golders Green, said Israel was becoming a "once-in-a-lifetime destination, like Australia or China".

He said: "Much of the blame lies with El Al and the hotels in Israel for the decline of Jewish tourism. Passengers booking within six weeks of travel, who wanted to visit Israel in July or August, were often faced with fares of between £600 and £700.


Travel chaos as Israeli air staff strike

By Jennifer Lipman, September 13, 2010

Almost 30,000 people are expected to suffer disruption to flights to and from Israel in the lead-up to Yom Kippur because of a strike by Israeli airport staff.

Flights out of Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport have been grounded indefinitely.

Union officials said initially that planes would be allowed to land but that ground crews would not unload luggage. However they have now agreed to let passengers collect their luggage.

The strike has been organised by the Israel Airports Authority's employees' union following the breakdown of negotiations over the use of staff pension funds.


Jerusalem picked as top travel destination

By Jennifer Lipman, September 13, 2010

Jerusalem has been named as one of the top ten tourist destinations in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards.

The Israeli city is seventh on the holiday website’s annual list of the top Culture & Sightseeing Destinations in the World.

Jerusalem, commended for its “profound cultural and historical significance,” is ranked higher than London on the list.

The site advises tourists to visit the “major sights” but not to forget to “walk through the streets and simply immerse yourself in the daily life of such an ancient and revered place.”


Direct Eilat flights in the pipeline

By Jan Shure, August 26, 2010

The world's largest travel group, TUI, will launch direct flights and tourism packages to Eilat, from both London and Manchester, for the 2011 winter season.

The move was announced this week by senior TUI managers following meetings in Israel with Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnkov.


El Al's 16 hour 'accessible' flight to Eilat

By Jan Shure, August 12, 2010

The announcement by El Al of new flights designed to make Eilat more accessible to Britons has been given a cool reception by the travel industry.

The airline has inaugurated three flights a day, from Sunday to Thursday, between Ben-Gurion and Eilat, and one flight a day on Friday and Saturday. For passengers booking an El Al flight from London, the onward Eilat fare is just £7.


Tel Aviv a top beach city

By Jennifer Lipman, August 4, 2010

Tel Aviv has been named one of the ten best beach cities in the world.

A National Geographic survey placed the Mediterranean coastal city on the list alongside Honolulu and Rio de Janeiro.

The magazine described the city, home to everything from a buzzing port, busy markets and sandy beaches, as “Miami Beach on the Med”

Although Tel Aviv was beaten to the top seaside spot by Barcelona, Israel was the only Middle Eastern country to make the list.


China wants more Israeli tourism

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2010

Israeli backpackers have become a familiar sight around Asian destinations like Thailand and India. Now China wants to be part of the lucrative Israeli tourism market.

The Chinese tourism minister, Shao Qiwei, has announced plans to encourage tourism links between the two countries.

Following a meeting with his Israeli counterpart in Shanghai, he described the country as an intriguing holiday spot and said that the two countries will hold a joint tourism conference.