PM of Israel at JITS 2013: « Our goal is to reach 10 million tourists within a decade »

The Second Jerusalem International Tourism Summit of 2013 is initiated by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Tourism, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Jerusalem Development Authority in cooperation with the Hebrew University and the Jerusalem International Convention Center. 

Netanyahu stated that « The Israeli economy leads the OECD in growth, creation of new jobs, and low unemployment. Israel is in a good economic position to address the challenges ahead. There is great potential in multiplying the number of tourists arriving to Israel, which will generate additional jobs. » 

Netanyahu addressed the tourist industry leaders stating « The least the government can do is not getting in your way. The first step we took upon ourselves is to approve the open sky agreement. We remove the section in the annual budget that was going to raise the VAT. We are committed to tourism, and committed to protecting it. »

Netanyahu added « Jerusalem is an exceptional city, the city of King David and King Solomon, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were all here and billions of tourists can relate to that. A city that blends the past into the future. We want to combine the future with the vibrant past. In order to do so we need basic things – we are currently building 5,000 rooms and hotels in Jerusalem and Israel. » 

Minister of Economy, Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett, said « We have a unique government. Our goal is to show this incredible asset – Jerusalem. And we are talking business. Three million tourists out of a billion potential is quiet low. We can do much more. »

Bennett referred to the decision made by the Commission for equality in the burden, stating « We have a unique government; we have began to focus inward and solve real problems we can tackle. We have just signed an agreement adding 10,000 Haredis into the workplace. Day by day we are making history. Our greatest task is to cut through various problems that have hunted us, especially through bureaucracy and over-regulations. In the upcoming years, we will sense a major change in the economy since we will ease on regulations. We are already doing so today and you have not seen anything yet. »

Bennett: « Each time I arrive to Jerusalem from my house in Ra’anana, I miss a heartbeat. In Sha’ar HaGai, beneath the mountains, I get that special feeling. Today on my way I have thought to myself that our heritage and our past are our greatest advantages. Thanks to Mayor Nir Barkat’s initiative, we see lots of research and development, advanced Sciences and overflow of arts, music, and culture. »

The Second Jerusalem International Tourism Summit, a top international tourism event, took place at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on May 28th-29th, 2013. 

This year a special emphasis is placed on Urban Tourism as well as Innovative Technologies in the world of tourism and travel. Global leaders, academics and experts in the field of hospitality are conducting panels, discussing a wide range of issues affecting the tourism industry, and a special panel will focus on technology in tourism, including tourism-related ‘apps’.

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