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Russians Rate Israel among best Destinations

27 October, 201127 October, 2011 0 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized

Israel ranked second out of 48 countries in a vote by Russian citizens selecting their choice for the best tourism and sightseeing country worldwide. The vote was part of a competition by National Geographic Russia Magazine and was sponsored by the Russian tourism industry.

Israel's second-place ranking placed it right after Italy, which came in first, and right before third-place Holland. Israel surpassed 22 other countries including the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, China. Competition organizers said the results of the vote signify the attractiveness of these destinations to the Russian market and gives an indication of future tourism to those nations.

The National Geographic Traveler Awards in Russia is an annual competition. During the first stage of the competition countries are chosen by travel agents and tour operators in Russia. Then magazine readers choose their favorite destinations. In the third stage, the competition is open to a vote for anyone in Russia. This year, more than 10,000 readers and Russian citizens placed their vote for the 48 countries in the various categories.

A victory ensures the winning countries feature articles in the international edition of National Geographic plus a series of articles in Russian's National Geographic that reaches more than 140,000 monthly readers.

In the last three years, Israel's Ministry of Tourism has increased its efforts to attract Russian travelers. The efforts appear to be paying off. In 2010, tourism from Russia to Israel placed second (following the U.S.) with more than 550,000 visitors.

The trend has continued already this year with 357,000 Russians visiting the country through September. The preferred destinations for Russian tourists include Eilat, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the various Russian Orthodox sites in Israel.

Israel's Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said Russians' connection to Israel was buoyed when the country recently removed its visa requirement for tourists from Russia to the Holy Land, making Israel a more attractive and accessible destination.

“Despite the global economic crisis, we have witnessed an increase in tourism over the last year,” Misezhnikov said. “Russia has turned into the second leader in tourism to Israel and will continue to remain in the center of the Ministry of Tourism's marketing efforts, while larger budgets are allocated.”

TagsTags: israel holy land tourism 


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