A tip to the new government, especially Tourism Minister Uzi Landau: tourism is a leading industry and should be afforded top priority. That's the word from the 13th Annual Herzliya Conference, which took place March 11-14, 2013.
Kenneth Hyatt, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce, stated that an analysis from 2011 found that 35 overseas travelers to the U.S. – excluding Mexico and Canada provide one American job.
A similar study showed that 36 tourists visiting Israel provide one Israeli job, said Noaz Bar-Nir, Director General of the Ministry of Tourism. He added that 1.5 million tourists entered Israel in the past 18 months, with the goal of 5 million tourists by 2015.
Shmuel Marom, Chairman of the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association, said that tourism provides leverage for the economy, foreign relations and society.
The most effective advocate for Israel is a satisfied tourist, said Amb. Dan Gillerman, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. It is shameful that the Ministry of Tourism is only considered a consolation prize, he added.