Israel eyes India as prime market for MICE, weddings

Israel, which has positioned itself as an affordable premium destination, is targeting travellers mainly for pilgrimage, leisure and meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE), including weddings.
“We are mainly focusing on pilgrimage, leisure and MICE as they are huge segments in India. However, we also have scope for the young adventurer at heart, honeymoon and for medical purposes,” the Israeli ministry of tourism’s India director Hassan Madah reportedly said. Aiming at a steady increase in tourist arrivals from India, Israel is eyeing one lakh Indian travellers to visit the country by 2018. “We have been very focused in tourism promotions in India and easing the visa process. This year, in the first seven months till July, we have already hosted 34,000 Indian tourists. This is expected to go up to 55,000 by the end of this year,” he said. Currently, there are three to our direct flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and numerous connecting flights from West Asia. There are talks of introducing direct Air India flights connecting New Delhi with Israel in a few months, he said, adding that if it commences, tourist traffic is likely to surge from India and this year’s number may reach nearly 90,000.  Madah said that initially in Asia, India was the number one source market for Israel.  “We believe that after the connectivity improves, India will again become number one source market for us among the Asian countries,” he said. Globally, the US and Europe, including Russia, are the top source markets of Israel