TEL AVIV – Israel’s Ministry of Tourism will invest NIS 11 million ($2.9 million) to promote LGBT tourism to the Jewish state.
The campaign will promote Israel as a liberal country that embraces members of the global LGBT community, and is aimed at increasing gay tourism throughout the year, not just during Pride events in June.
“We’re building a plan for a long-term strategy,” said Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. “Different organizations that we work with have marked the LGBT community as one that has significant potential for growth, and I certainly want to break into larger numbers than we have today.”
Israeli drag queen Arie Oshri was recruited to promote Israel at the world’s largest tourism convention, ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin), which took place in Berlin at the beginning of March.
“Tel Aviv has a lot to offer the gay crowd, and they are beginning to understand this in Israel,” Oshri said.
Since the ministry began promoting Tel Aviv as a liberal city about a decade ago, LGBT tourism has grown a hundred-fold and remains generally less affected by security and economic concerns than other forms of tourism.