More foreign visitors from Israel expected as travel agencies promote PH tourism

Published December 28, 2016, 11:42 AM

by Carmela Martinez

By Philippine News Agency

More visitors from Israel are expected in the coming months as six major travel agencies based in Tel Aviv, Israel vowed to promote Philippine tourism, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial relayed to the DFA that tour operators from the Middle East nation started making package tours to the Philippines. He said this is a result of a recent trip of tour operators in popular tourism sites in the Philippines.

Foreign tourists read a sign in front of the manila cathedral in Intramuros Manila January 5, 2013. Tourist arrivals continue to pick up and look forward to a strong tourist arrival figure in 2014. Photo by: Linus GUardian Escandor II
Photo by: Linus Guardian Escandor II

Tour operators composed of CEOs and managers of Ophir Tours, Mona Tours Ltd., Ayala Travel and Tours Ltd., Galaxy Tours, Ypaymore Ltd. and Alpha Club-Ganim Tours visited Cebu, Bohol, and Metro Manila from Dec. 6 to 12.

They were joined by Imperial and Mr. Francisco Lardizabal, Head of the DOT–Market Development Group as part of the DOT’s drive to tap the rapidly growing Israeli market.

As of September 2016, a total of 11,800 Israelis have visited the Philippines, a 34 percent increase from last year.

“Israel is becoming an important source of tourists for the Philippines with double-digit growth registered in the last three years,” Lardizabal said.

The tour group held business-to-business meetings with Philippine tour companies, conducted ocular visits to major hotels and experienced activities such as snorkeling, watching dolphins in Bohol, a historical tour in Cebu, and shopping in Manila.

“Through the familiarization tour, the participants were able to experience the exciting destinations of the Philippines and learned more about the beauty of our country and people,” said Imperial.