Israeli Tourist Arrivals in the Philippines Up by 30% in 2013

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                           Tourism poster designed by the Embassy for release in the Israeli market (photo: DOT London)

19 January 2014 Tel Aviv, State of Israel. Israel remains the biggest tourist market of the Philippines in the Eastern Mediterranean Europe, citing official figures released by the Department of Tourism (DOT) for the period of January to September 2013.

In the DOT Visitor Arrival to the Philippines by Country of Residence report, there were 5,491 Israeli tourists who visited the Philippines from January to September 2013 which is 93% of the full 2012 figure (5,895); 110% of the full 2011 figure (4,990); and 121% of the full 2010 figure (4,525). Based on the same report, tourist arrivals are highest in the first quarter and the latter part of the year.

The 2013 tourist arrival total, to be released early this year, is expected to break the 6,000 mark for the first time in many years.

The partial tally represents a 30% year-on-year increase and may very easily bring in the third consecutive year double digit tourist arrival growth, due in part to elevated tourism promotion efforts spearheaded by the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv in cooperation with the Israel-Philippines Tourism Chamber.

The Embassy supported the creation of the said Chamber and its subsequent activities such as the conduct of several travel seminars to potential tourists and more recently, its participation in the X-Factor Israel won by OFW Rose Fostanes (the Chamber led an SMS and Facebook info drive to drum up support for Fostanes and sponsored the air tickets plus billeting of Fostanes' sister and girlfriend in time for the finals while the Embassy expedited the passport release of the latter).

The Embassy, in partnership with the Chamber, also participated in the 2013 International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) in Tel Aviv for the first time in almost 20 years. The IMTM is the biggest and most prominent travel fair in Israel organized by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and sponsored by the national carrier El Al among others.

In the pipeline is the 2014 IMTM participation of the Embassy with the Chamber apart from the long-proposed Familiarization Tour to the Philippines of Israeli VIPs, celebrities and journalists. The Familiarization Tour, slated in March, comes right before the revival of the Manila-Tel Aviv direct flights of Philippine carriers this year.

The recent victory of Fostanes this month plus the upcoming 2014 IMTM in February and Fam Tour in March are all projected to deliver even bigger tourist arrival figures in the 1st quarter and kick start the same momentum all through the year. --END--

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      Left photo: Philippine Ambassador Generoso D.G. Calonge poses with the Embassy staff and Rose Fostanes. Also in
             the picture are Fostanes' sister (in red) and girlfriend (in brown). Right photo: Yariv Fisher (left), Chairman of
                 the Israel-Philippines Tourism Chamber pose with X-Factor Israel Champion Rose Fostanes (center) and
                                              flyeast ltd. executive after the press conference in the Embassy.