China wants more Israeli tourism

Eilat: one of Israel's top tourist spots

Eilat: one of Israel's top tourist spots

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.

Mr Qiwei said: "I believe that mutual cooperation between China and Israel can lead to a huge breakthrough in the tourist traffic between the two countries.

Israel said they hoped to ease visa restrictions to make coming to Israel easier for Chinese visitors, who make up some five per cent of global tourism.

Last updated: 2:39pm, November 15 2010