Israel is expecting 55,000 tourists from India to visit their country in the current calender year, a senior official said today.
In 2016 about 44,672 Indian tourists travelled to Israel.
"Till July 2017, over 34,000 Indians have already visited Israel marking a growth of 36 per cent. And the numbers are growing...the historic visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to our country has sparked a renewed interest among Indians to travel to Israel," Israel Ministry of Tourism India Director Hassan Madah told reporters here.
"For this (2017) year we are expecting about 55,000 Indian travellers. Talks are on for introducing direct Air India flights connecting New Delhi with Israel. It is expected that the direct AI flights are likely to commence in the coming months and once it starts the number can reach 70,000 to 80,000 this year," Madah said, adding they are targeting one lakh tourists from India by the end of 2018.
Currently 3-4 direct flights ply from Mumbai to Tel Aviv, he said.
Madah said, among the Asian countries, India used to be number one source market for Israel two years ago and now China is in the first position with 78,000 tourists travelling to Israel last year. "This is because more airlines from China have brought in more tourists."
To a query, Madah said "We encourage film producers (from India) to shoot in Israel. We are already in talks with some (of them). We from tourism ministry will give our support. We don't have schemes that gives benefits (to film industry), but we can work on an ad hoc request." "We know that films can attract tourism. Spain, Switzerland, New Zealand and other countries have promoted films (shooting) and more tourists are coming to those countries and we are working on that also,' Madah added.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)