Israel’s Tourism Industry Mobilizes to Help the Country
TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2023 /CNW/ – While this is an incredibly difficult time for the people of Israel, it’s been remarkable to watch all parts of society come together in true Israeli spirit to provide comfort and aid to those who have been displaced or suffered the loss of loved ones.
To this end, the Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), in partnership with the Israel Hotels Association and in cooperation with the National Emergency Management Authority, is currently providing housing in hotels and youth hostels for all those who have been displaced or evacuated. Through this initiative, IMOT has already sourced tens of thousands of guest rooms, with all meals included.
“On October 7, the lives of Israeli citizens were changed forever,” said Eyal Carlin, IMOT’s Tourism Commissioner to North America. “Since that horrific day, the tourism community has united like never before to provide solutions for current needs, while also doing the work to ensure we are ready for the time when we can again safely welcome travelers back to our amazing country.”
“Tourism to Israel is in a state of flux right now. Like never before, since October 7th, Canadians, and travellers from around the globe, of all walks of life and faiths, are jumping at any opportunities available to go to Israel now and offer help through genuine hands-on volunteering”, said Gal Hana, Israel’s Consul for Tourism in Canada. “We anticipate that such personal missions will continue for some time by individuals or groups; it is the time to reinforce morale and support of Israel“.
Additional initiatives by the travel industry to support the people of Israel includes:
- The Jerusalem Development Authority (local tourism board):
- Organizing activities for evacuees staying in Jerusalem hotels.
- Tel Aviv Global (local tourism board):
- Providing essential information related to the city for tourists, visitors, and residents alike.
- Running a 24/7 situation room to assist evacuee families, source guest rooms, and more.
- Cooperating with various industries to create initiatives and programs to benefit the evacuees.
- Sharing positive stories with the international community and media about civilian initiatives and mutual support.
- The Israel Association of Travel Agencies and Consultants:
- Finding flight solutions for Israelis on rescue flights, reservists, and citizens trying to find their way back to Israel in the wake of flight cancellations.
- Keeping abreast of flight cancellations, schedule changes, and rescue flights in real time.
- Advocating for fair flight cancellation policies for the benefit of passengers.
- The Transport Companies Organization:
- Assisting in the evacuation of residents from Gaza and areas of concern.
- Providing buses for organized tours for evacuees.
- The Israel Tour Guides Association:
- Operating a situation room to facilitate connections between volunteer organizations and members of the association to support a range of activities:
- Organizing civilians for agricultural activities and transport.
- Supporting evacuees with transport, equipment, food, clothing, accommodation, etc.
- Providing equipment, transport, food, etc. for security, rescue forces, and reservists.
- Transporting combat equipment, medical equipment, and donations.
- Creating and distributing public diplomacy assets, like videos, in various languages.
- The Israel Nature and Parks Authority:
- Giving evacuees free admission to open INPA sites with some locations offering free tours that include transport, guides, refreshments, and security.
- The tours are being organized in cooperation with IMOT, the Ministry of the Negev, the Ministry of the Galilee, the National Resilience, and the Or movement.
- Rescuing protected wild animals from the communities near the Gaza strip and ensuring the safety of wild animals with rangers in nature conservation enforcement areas.
- Transferring dozens of birds of prey from a breeding center in the south to better protected areas such as zoos.
- Offering a wide range of activities and content online to allow for environmental education to children who are stuck inside for security reasons.
- Providing free activities through the educational team for children evacuated to the Eilat region in Hai Bar Yotveta with plans in place to widen these activities to other areas.
- Donating mattresses and equipment to the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) from closed overnight camping lots.
Israel’s tourism industry will continue to make contributions by assisting citizens and soldiers wherever possible and whenever needed. Numerous organizations have set up funds to assist those who have been displaced. Please reach out to our team if you would like know how you can lend a hand.
SOURCE Israel Ministry of Tourism
For further information: PR Contact: Jerry Adler, Deputy Director/Director of Public Relation in Canada, Israel Ministry of Tourism, T. 416-964-3784 ext. 24, Email: [email protected]