“In 2018 Israel is waiting for about 400 thousand Russian tourists. As a result of the first 9 months of 2018, 272 thousand Russian tourists visited Israel”, reported Ksenia Kobyakova, the head of the department of Israeli Ministry of Tourism in the Russian Federation and the CIS.
According to her, these figures coincide generally with the indicators for the same period of 2017. “For the first 9 months of 2018, the number of tourists from the Russian Federation showed a slight decrease of 2%, which can be called as an acceptable result in condition of currency fluctuations on the Russian market,” Ms. Kobyakova notes.
Israel hopes for the growth of Russian tourist arrivals in connection with the launching of seasonal charter programs to Uvda airport (resort of Eilat on the Red Sea), flights to which are subsidized by Israeli Ministry of Tourism. In this winter season, flight consolidator (tour operator or airline) will receive 60 Euros for each Russian tourist. This sum will exceed the figure of previous seasons by 15 Euros.
As Ksenia Kobyakova reported, in the winter season 2018–2019 three tour operators Coral Travel, ICS Travel Group and Biblio-Globus, which will operate 2 flights a week from Moscow, and Ural Airlines, which will fly from St. Petersburg once a week, have become participants in the subsidy program. Blocks of seats on Petersburg flights are booked by tour operators ICS Travel Group, TUI Russia and Premiere. The first flights were made in September.
“As a result, this winter we will have 7 charter flights a week from Moscow and St. Petersburg to the resort of Eilat. Compared to last season, the total number of program participants has not changed. As for the total number of flights, there will be more of them compared to the 2017–2018 season. If last season the support program operated until the end of March, in the current season it will last until May 31. Thus, Russian tourists will be able to go on holiday to Eilat at attractive prices till May of 2019,” concludes Ksenia Kobyakova.
According to her, tour operators have reported abour good depth of sales for the upcoming winter.
In total, Israeli Ministry of Tourism in this winter season will spend about 2 million Euros in Russia for the promotion of Israeli tourist product, including Eilat, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
According to Ms. Kobyakova, according to the results of 2018, about 400 thousand Russians will visit Israel, which in general will be in line with the figures of 2017. Last year, 397 thousand citizens of the Russian Federation visited Israel (+ 40% by 2016).