Israel's Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, announced last week further concessions for tourists traveling from China.
These include: any Chinese tourist holding a visa issued by the United States or the European Union will be eligible for a fast-track visa application for Israel and will not be required to present documentation when requesting a visa. In addition, changes can be submitted up to 24 hours before departure in the case of group visas.
These concessions join a list of others that have been granted in recent weeks, including, among others, fast-track visa application requests for tour groups and investigating the possibility of issuing a ten-year tourist visa, in an effort to encourage bi-lateral tourism between Israel and China.
Interior Minister Shalom recently returned from a visit to China, where he met with the Deputy Chinese Prime Minister and discussed ways to strengthen the connection between the two countries.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin has positioned China as a key target for Tourism Ministry activities and is taking significant steps to increase the number of incoming tourists from China.
Among others, the minister has increased the marketing budget in the Tourism Ministry for China and worked with Hainan Airlines which will commence its operations in Israel in April 2016.
In an initiative of the Tourism Ministry, the tourism industry is beginning to adapt the tourism infrastructure to the specific needs of the Chinese tourist, with visiting Chinese chefs giving master classes in Chinese cooking to Israeli chefs. The ministry also hosts leading Chinese opinion-formers and is in contact with Chinese companies interested in operating in Israel.