The Tourism Ministry has launched a new campaign calling on Russian tourists to choose Israel as their next vacation spot.
It offers vacation packages in the Holy Land priced at US$350 for a three-four night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.
The NIS 8 million (US$2 million) campaign aims to bring to Israel some of the Russian travelers who have been staying away from Egypt after the Russian plane crash and from Turkey in light of the strained relations between Moscow and Ankara.
It was reported that Israel's Tourism Minister Yariv Levin instructed the ministry to provide solutions to Russian tour operators and airlines who are currently moving away from Turkey and Egypt, and to transform Israel into a worthwhile and attractive travel destination for the Russian public.
Among others, the marketing team at the ministry is working to adapt the Israel tourism products to the Russian tourism sector which, until now, had chosen to vacation in neighboring countries in the region.
There are currently 60 weekly flights from Russia to Ben Gurion and 10 to Eilat. The Tourism Ministry is dealing with the main obstacle - the prevailing economic crisis in Russia.
In addition, vacation costs in Israel are higher than the competition on neighboring countries and the ministry is helping by creating packages that are suitable for the Russian tourist's budget. Within this framework, tour operators were challenged to create vacation packages in Israel priced at US$350 for a 3-4 night stay on a B&B basis. About ten tour operators met the challenge and their referral details are included in the new campaign.
Within the framework of the NIS 8m campaign that is currently being launched, giant billboards will be erected in Moscow measuring 10 x 90 meters, located in central and heavily-trafficked areas with at least one million people passing by.