SHANGHAI - Yariv Levin, Minister of Tourism of the State of Israel, visited China for the first time this month. He visited Ctrip headquarters and our CEO Jane Sun to discuss tourism opportunity for Israel. Afterwards, Ctrip and the Israeli Tourism Bureau held a strategic cooperation signing ceremony at the Shanghai Peace Hotel.
According to Israeli Ministry of Tourism statistics, Israel in July 2017 ushered in 271,100 global tourists, an increase of 17% over the same period last year. The growth of tourists from China is even more staggering. By July 2017, the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Israel reached 64,000, an increase of 66%, reinforcing Chinese tourists as the fastest growing source of inbound tourists to Israel.
"I am delighted to have witnessed the rapid growth of Israeli tourism in the Chinese market, not only thanks to the innovative approach of the Israeli tourism industry's rich marketing activities in China and the creation of a destination brand image," said Mr. Levine, Minister of Tourism of the State of Israel. "In addition, new direct flight to Israel has also played a vital role in the growth of the tourism market, and the rapid increase in the number of tourists in China has made great contributions to the Israeli economy and the job market. As the campaign continues to deepen, this trend of rapid growth will continue to rise and we hope to establish a good relationship with more partners in China. "
"Tourism brings peace. We are facilitating the two-way visits between China and Isarel with a lot more room for growth," said Ms. Sun. "Ctrip is playing an increasingly significant role as a "tourism development ambassador" in the global area."
Given that visa accessibility is an important consideration for Chinese tourists in selecting travel destinations, Jane called upon Israeli government to introduce new policies on not only continuing to ease tourist visa access but also building more awareness of Israel as a travel destination to Chinese tourists and working with Israeli government to ensure Chinese tourists high quality and safe travel experience.
The Ministry of Tourism is actively expanding its relationship with China's tourism industry partners and actively seeking opportunities for "cross-border" cooperation, in order to ensure the best quality travel service and experience for Chinese tourists visiting Israel. This cooperation with Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency (OTA), leverages Ctrip's advantages in travel products, big data, precision marketing and other aspects of deep cooperation.