Israel asks citizens to boost tourism as patriotic duty

Israelis are being pressed to entice more tourists to the Jewish state as their patriotic duty — with the incentive of winning a holiday at home for themselves.

The Ministry of Tourism is launching a new website this month containing postcards and video clips visitors can use to introduce overseas friends, family and colleagues to the country.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov calls the drive ‘Zionism without cynicism’: “We believe everyone can leverage the power of influence...to bring more tourists to Israel,” he said.

Everyone who sends a postcard from the new website will be entered into a lottery to win one of 200 prizes of domestic vacations.

Participants can boost their chances by sending out invitations on Twitter, Facebook and email, as well as logging on to the website www.kol1mevil.org.il, due to go live on October 23.

Attention to the new “Invite a Friend” campaign will be drawn by a commercial starring Israeli actresses Noa Tishby and Gilat Ankori.

Israel is hoping to build on record tourism numbers — 2.3 million arrivals in January-August this year, a 7 per cent increase.

Last updated: 10:45am, October 19 2012