Experts predict an increase in tourist traffic to Israel from Russian regions. Israeli Ministry of Tourism hopes that Russia will become the number one of source market for this country. Now direct flights to Israel are available from 8 regions of the Russian Federation, and this year their number may increase.
Israel has been showing a steady increase in tourist traffic from Russia over the past year - so, in the first 2 months of 2019 the number of tourists from Russia grew by 32% compared to the
same period last year and amounted to 56,700 people.
“Russia may become the market No. 1 for Israel,” notes Ksenia Kobyakova, the director of Israel Tourism Ministry’s department in Russia and the CIS. “Already now, it is on the first line in the
number of all arrivals in Eilat (27%), overtaking France (15%) and the USA (12%).”
Thus, in the period from September 16, 2018 to March 7, 2019, 18,424 Russian tourists arrived at Uvda Airport, which increased the airport's load to 84% instead of 77% last year.
This is also connected with Israel’s active policy of supporting inbound tourism, in particular, subsidizing of tour operators, which arrange flights to Uvda and promoting the most popular
programs in the country in general, and tourism opportunities in the Negev desert in particular.
In order to increase the Russian tourist flow, the representation of Israel this year decided to concentrate on work in the regions of Russia, where experts see a very big potential.
“For example, we found out that Novosibirsk is the third largest city in the Russian Federation in the tourist flow of the Russians to Israel,” says Ksenia Kobyakova. “And this is even though
there is no direct flight with it now,” she emphasizes.
In the near future, representatives of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism intend to expand the geography of flights, so Novosibirsk may become the ninth city of Russia, where direct flights to
Israel will be available.
In 2019, a few new directions will be added to the already successful programs of Israel promotion in Russia.
First, this is an increase in tourism proposals in northern Israel, where there are such cities as Acre and Nazareth, which occupy a prominent place in the Christian culture of Europe.
And secondly, this is the development of medical tourism, since, according to Mr. Halevi, the Russians see a growing interest in treatment in Israel.