Published on : Tuesday, April 20, 2021
A webinar on cross-border tourism between the UAE and Israel heard travel is important for sharing cultures and developing acceptance.
Held by HVS at the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the discussion was based on hotel investment between the UAE and Israel.
More than 230 delegates from the hospitality industry heard contributions from MK Orit Farkash-Hacohen, the minister of tourism of the State of Israel, and her ministry colleagues Amir Halevi and Lorin Maugery.
Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Israel’s Minister of Tourism said, “Israel is at a positive turning point in regards to vaccination. Israel’s economy, life, leisure and education is going back to normal. We are gradually thinking about opening the skies and allowing Israelis to [travel to] other countries and bring tourists gradually to Israel. Governments sign the agreement, but people create the peace. In my view, there is nothing like tourism between countries to amplify and implement the true side of acceptance, culture sharing and friendship.”
Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem said, “We’ve been running with anchors on our feet because of Covid-19. The industry it has devastated the most has been the tourism industry. From Jerusalem’s perspective, Jerusalem is the largest tourism city in Israel. Eighty percent of our tourism is foreign tourism and twenty to thirty percent of our city income comes through tourism. In Jerusalem we have been offering planning development incentives to build hotels. We lack hotels. So what we are finding now, with all of this difficulty, is that this is the time to reflect and plan. The next two years are going to be boost years for vaccinated countries and the countries that managed to control Covid-19.”
All through the webinar, Robin Rossman of STR presented a study of the recent performance of hotels in the UAE and Israel, followed by an interview with Kamal Naamani of the Al Habtoor Group and Fleur Hassan-Nahoum of the UAE-Israel Business Council, conducted by Ronit Copeland (Copeland Hospitality).