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August 13, 2013August 13, 2013  0 comments  Tourism

Israel has never been a more popular tourist destination. According to the latest data released by country's central bureau of statistics, Israel reached an all-time record for tourist entries in July 2013: 246,000 tourists stayed overnight in the country, approximately 2% more than last year, and 4% more than in 2011.Interest in cruise ship visitors increased as well fueled by the additional cruise ships visiting the region.

 

Since the start of the year ver 2 million visitors arrived in Israel - signalling another record year for tourism to Israel. The improving economic condition in the US, open skies agreement, and the elimination of visa requirements from India, Russia, China and the Ukraine are expected to continue to positively impact Israel's tourism industry, 1% more than the same period in 2012, 8% more than 2011 and 6% more than 2010. Should the current trend continue, Travelujah estimates that 3.6 million tourists will visit Israel in 2013.

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Elisa L. Moed is the Founder and CEO of Travelujah-Holy Land tours, the leading Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.


October 25, 2013October 25, 2013  0 comments  Tourism

 

Touring to both Israel and the Palestinian Territories is getting even easier.  A new Palestinian and Israeli experiential tourism project, Breaking Bread Journeys, aims to reach tourists seeking to engage with locals and visit important biblical and other sites. The new program was created by two tour operators, Christina Samara, a Palestinian and owner of Samara Tourist and Travel Agency, and Elisa Moed, founder of Israel-based Travelujah. Both women were introduced by Tony Blair's Quartet Initiative and are launching this new tourism concept with the support of the United States Agency for International Development under the Compete Project in the West Bank, which emphasizes economic development, including tourism, as a path to peace and stability.

 

"We realized that travel brings people together in many positive ways and helps in the pursuit of stability, prosperity and peace in the entire Holy Land," said Christina Samara. "So we designed a set of very special Palestinian and Israeli cultural and historic tours that include many of the classical sites that both of our companies have long been offering."holy sepulchre travelujah

 

"However, we believed that what tourists really want is to experience the land in a personal way and we knew that by working together we could provide authentic experiences that would otherwise be virtually impossible," explained Elisa Moed. "Each of our experiences provides   opportunities for small groups to engage directly with local communities. These include experiences for faith-based clientele, as well as other market segments that are keen to learn and enjoy local traditional cuisine, art, and music and, of course, break bread with the people of the land."

 

nablus travelujah

Photo credit: Travelujah; Breaking bread journeys engaging with Palestian womens in Nablus

Tourism to the Holy Land is important for both Israelis and Palestinians. In 2012, the Israeli tourism industry received 3.5 million visitors, and the Palestinian tourism industry received over 1.8 million visitors.  In fact, visitors to the Palestinian Territories increased over 40% from 2007 to 2012 - a positive sign that the region can safely receive increasing numbers of visitors.

 

"We are exhibiting at the World Travel Market from November 4th to the 7th at EM575 and look forward to meeting tour operators, media and organizations interested in offering our rich, comprehensive cultural experiences in the Holy Land," said Samara.

 

lisa and christina

Samara Tourist and Travel Agency is being supported in the development of this initiative by the United States Agency for International Development through their COMPETE project in the West Bank as part of the Agency's strategy to develop the Palestinian tourism sector and to make a significant impact in job creation and increased investment.

 

For more information, contact Christina Samara at +970-54-237-5288 or Elisa Moed at +970-52-744-4033. They can also be reached via email at: christina@breakingbreadjourneys.com or elisa@breakingbreadjourneys.com  

The  website is www.breakingbreadjourneys.com

 


November 21, 2013November 21, 2013  0 comments  Tour groups

A new Holy Land tour initiative, Breaking Bread Journeys,  was officially launched a couple weeks ago by two  tourism industry veterans, Elisa Moed, CEO of Travelujah, and Christina Samara, President of Samara Tourist & Travel Agency. The women, one a Jewish Israeli, and the other a Christian Palestinian, are offering topical Holy Land tours where each day provides participants with a different cultural encounter. The tours essentially divide their allocated time between Israel and the Palestinina Territories and give participants  a deeper experience with an 'insiders view' of the local culture as well as classical and off the path sites.  In addition to "breaking bread" with locals and industry experts daily, the project breaks new ground with this  entirely new type of Holy Land tour. The tours range from 6 - 8 days in length and include the following programs, Food and culture, Pilgrimage, Sustainability, Two Eyes (Political conflict) and the Holy Land thru Herod. All of the tours can be further customized depending on the size of the group.

An introductory 3 day 2 night Food and Culture program that includes Nablus, Jerusalem and Bethlehem is being offered January 27 - 29, 2014 for visitors to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The land only program includes 3 days 2 nights in five star properties, all meals, entrance fees, guiding, transportation, workshops and entertainment and more. To learn more please contact info@breakingbreadjourneys.com. To get a sense of the food and culture tour, watch this 4 minute video.

 

 

 

 


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