Tourism News from Israel

Middle East cooperation highlights wonders of the Dead Sea

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Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Israel, Jordan and Palestine are working together to ensure the Dead Sea is recognised as one of the New7Wonders of nature.

 The Dead Sea, promoted as the world’s largest natural spa, is one of 28 finalists in the international competition.  It is contending against stiff local competition, including The Great Barrier Reef and Uluru for the honours.

The Dead Sea is a unique experience. Located 423 metres below sea level it is the lowest place on earth. The high salt and mineral concentration allows bathers to float effortlessly in its water. People come from around the world to benefit from the therapeutic water, mud and air.  

To encourage votes for the Dead Sea campaign, artist Spencer Tunick recently photographed a naked human installation at the Dead Sea.  He is renowned internationally for his captivating mass nude shots, pictured in iconic locations. Last year over 5,000 Sydneysiders clambered to participate in his Opera House shoot.

Recently the Israel Trade Commission held a well-attended Beautiful Israel Breakfast Seminar in Sydney to encourage Australian travellers to discover not only the uniqueness of the Dead Sea, but all of Israel. The seminar targeted those in the travel industry and included presentations offering regional travel package options to Israel as a part of larger trips to Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.  Vendors showcased a variety of customised itineraries including Christmas in Bethlehem tours and Bar mitzvah tours.

Consultants learnt El AL is introducing new ticket pricing and flexible flight options for travellers from Australia, which allows for stopovers in Asia, Europe and even the US. 

Trade and Tourism manager Merav Gonen gave an enticing overview of Israel’s many unique attractions.  As Israel is less than half the size of Tasmania, it is quick and easy to travel between the various sites within the country;  from the beaches of Tel Aviv, to the holy city of Jerusalem, to the Sea of Galilee.

She highlighted the continued growth in Israeli tourism, which last year increased by 26% to a record-breaking 3.5 million tourists. This included a phenomenal 38% increase in the number of visitors from Australia.