MUMBAI: Looking at the steady increase in tourists arrivals from India, Israel is eyeing one lakh Indian travellers to visit the country by the next year.
“We have been very focused in tourism promotions in India and easing the visa process. This year in the first seven months till July we have already hosted 34,000 Indian tourists.
This is expected to go up to 55,000 by the end of this year,” Israel Ministry of Tourism India Director Hassan Madah told PTI here.
He said, currently there are 3-4 direct flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and numerous connecting flights from the Middle East.
There are talks of introducing direct Air India flights connecting New Delhi with Israel in a few months, he said adding if it commences then the tourist traffic is likely to surge from India and the number this year may reach nearly 90,000.
There are few global airlines, who are waiting for the Air India flights to be launched, and then introduce their fleets in this direct route.
“When this happens, we will see a surge in tourists arrivals from India. We have also been engaging with the tourism industry in India since last few years and are focused in many promotional activities. Due to this we have set a target of reaching one lakh tourists from India by the end of 2018,” he said.
For tourism promotions in India, Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) is spending US $5-6 million in India this year, he said adding going forward as the tourist traffic grows the Budget is likely to grow.