ATHENS – Israelis are keen to visit Greece this summer, according to a study released by the Greek Embassy's economic and trade affairs office in Tel Aviv.
"Israeli tourist agencies and prospective visitors have already expressed their intention to travel," according to the study, adding that Israelis are waiting for flights to resume and for the framework regarding health certificates. In fact, a series of actions have been proposed to stimulate tourist flows between the two countries. At the present time, the focus is on deciding the terms of cooperation with Israel as a safe destination in terms of health. Regarding the framework of actions in the short and medium term, the following are proposed:
– increase of direct Greece – Israel air connections at Greek international regional airports.
– providing tourist packages with special themes (medical, gastronomic, agritourism, diving, sports) as well as winter tourism packages (there is a significant tourist flow from Israel that goes to winter destinations).
– promoting areas with a past or even current Jewish presence as tourist destinations
– financing or support by other means of special thematic promotional events, organisation of public relations events, in collaboration with agencies in Tel Aviv, but also the utilisation of funds, both of sectoral bodies and of local government for targeted tourism promotion (invitations to tour operators, opinion leaders, journalists, packages of "organised" vacations for trade unions).
– cruise development: further development of cruising, both from Israel to our country, and for common cruise packages with stops in Israel, Cyprus and Greece.
– organising travel trips (fam trip) for travel agents and journalists.
Since 2018, Greece has been the top holiday destination for most Israelis, followed by Turkey, Ukraine, Italy and Russia. Turkey took second place not as a final destination but as a transit point. According to the Bank of Greece in 2019, more than 680,000 Israelis visited Greece. In the two years 2018 – 2019, there was an increase of 26 pct in Israeli visitors, while compared to 2013, they have doubled.