News from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism

Here’s the latest from the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

What’s happening where?

For some days rockets have been fired from the Palestinians’ Gaza Strip into southern Israel. A majority of the rockets have been brought down by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, but some have landed in towns and cities in a quite large area.

Is this where I’m going?

Probably not. Most of the areas the rockets have reached are off the usual tourist routes, but a few have been aimed towards Tel Aviv. Most of the rockets launched towards Tel Aviv were deflected by the Iron Dome. No tourists have been involved in any incidents.

How does all this affect my travel plans?

It probably doesn’t. Conditions in most of Israel are normal – with children going to school, people shopping, going to restaurants, going to the beach, and sightseeing.

Yes, but are people still going?

There are currently more than 100,000 tourists vacationing in Israel and there are no signs whatsoever that visitors are cutting their trips short. Individuals and groups continue to depart the U.S. and Canada for Israel without interruption.

But surely…

If you’re taking an organized tour, and should it be necessary, your tour operator will adjust your itinerary. If you’re traveling independently, hotels and tour guides are equipped to assist you and to suggest what you should and should not do, and where you should or should not go.  In addition to our, the website of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv gives up-to-date information for the benefit of Americans visiting our country

Yes, but…

As hard as it may seem to comprehend from thousands of miles away, the current situation has little effect on life in most of Israel.  2012 has already broken the record as the best-ever year for tourism to Israel, with more international travelers visiting Israel than ever before.  More than 80 airlines are operating their normal schedules to and from Israel, and today, as every day, close to 20 flights are operating nonstop between the United States and Canada and Israel, and vice versa.

Are you sure?

Tourists and tourism are very important to the State of Israel. If we felt it was inappropriate for you to come now, we would ask you not to.

If you’re already in Israel you are in good hands and know there’s nothing to be overly concerned about. And if you’re on your way: “Bon Voyage.” We look forward to greeting you.

UPDATED November 19, 2012