NEW YORK (Mar. 21)
A spokesman for Israel’s Ministry of Tourism said that Israel’s tourist trade has recovered nicely from the serious slump following the Yom Kippur War and predicted that this year’s tourist traffic will exceed that of 1973 by 20 percent and would reach the boom levels of 1972.
Avraham Zur, who represents the Ministry in North America, conceded during a press conference in the Ministry’s office here that the current financial crunch in Israel forced a 35 percent slash in its tourist promotion budget for North America this year. He also disclosed that the Montreal and Boston offices would be closed down in the near future and the latter consolidated with the Israel Tourist Office in New York.
Zur said his optimistic outlook was based on the tourist traffic to Israel during the first two weeks of March which was 15 percent higher than in the corresponding period of 1973. “We believe that this trend will be followed even after the Passover tourist season,” Zur said. But he could not predict the tourist movement to Israel this summer because of “fundamental changes in booking patterns.”
Zur said the Tourist Ministry has projected a goal of between 315-360,000 tourists from the United States, Canada and Mexico during the 1974-75 tourist year, which would be 20 percent greater than 1973. He said the sources of the expected increase would be mainly non-Jewish. He listed them as Christians who come to visit the holy places; passengers off cruise ships; and tourists from Mexico.