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Go Israel invited a small group of media Thursday morning to experience an 'Israeli Breakfast' at Parallel Restaurant here in Toronto. During breakfast Go Israel Deputy Director for Canada, Jerry Adler, along with Consul Director for Canada, Gal Hana, shared with us why Israel is the ultimate 'experiential' destination for leisure, adventure, sports, culinary, history and faith.
"The reason why I invited you all here today is to ultimately look at Israel from a different perspective and for the different niches that Israel has to offer its visitors… Everything from adventure, hiking biking, culinary, nightlife - the list is longer than my arms…" started Adler.
There is no denying that Israel has been a growing tourism destination on both the Canadian and global markets. In the last year alone, Travel Pulse Canada has seen a growing trend of new program offerings, through tour operators and cruise lines, for destinations in the Middle East like Israel. These program expansions have not only made it easier to experience Israel, but also provide more options for how to experience it - whether by tour, by boat, or by land.
"What we wanted to share was that we are concluding a third consecutive year of record-breaking tourism to Israel. We had 4.5 million tourists that came to Israel in 2019, 100,000 of which are Canadians. It's crazy! Israel is packed with tourists…" illustrated Hana. "What we try really to do is something authentic. Authentic stories, authentic food, not just to share a story but for you really experience and feel it."
Of course, when it comes to history and culture, Israel needs no further promotion. However, what many don't know is how incredibly the country's culinary scene is or how it offers more than just a sophisticated sea and sun escape. When it comes to adventure travel Israel offers many great experiences including citywide events like marathons that are hosted in the historic old city of Jerusalem.
"The layers of history and culture, with a great culinary scene that targets everyone, and everyone can find what they are looking for in Israel. In 2020 we are going to push and promote Israel to more and more Canadians. Canadians really find the Israeli product appealing because they are really looking for something different, not only sea and sun but something more sophisticated and Israel has it all," shared Hana.
Further, when it comes to cuisine, Israel is a foodies' dream come true. From fine dining to vibrant marketplaces where traders sell everything from clothing to spices to fruit and electronics, Israel offers endless smells and flavors. Authentic Middle-Eastern style shuk markets allow visitors to experience the hustle and bustle, and the vibrant colours, smells, and noises of daily life in Israel.
"Tel Aviv is a non-stop city, we have events all the time…what I miss the most is walking around on Friday mornings in the Carmel market. The Carmel market is right on the beach in Tel Aviv and is a full culinary market with fresh vegetables and food stands. So every Friday it is packed with tourists and young people that have come to enjoy the vibe," expressed Hana.
The best time of year to go to Israel is in the spring (April, May) and fall (September, October) when the weather is not too hot and humid. Direct flights to Tel Aviv are available through Air Canada from both Toronto Pearson and Montreal Trudeau. Direct flights from major European cities are also easy to find with Israel currently connecting to 17 destinations in Europe including Ukrainian International Airlines, which offers flights to Israel from Canada with a stopover in the Ukraine.
For more information on Israel and its offerings please visit https://info.goisrael.com/en/
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