Israel shares latest air and land updates at Toronto industry event

Israel shares latest air and land updates at Toronto industry event

TORONTO — The Israel Government Tourist Office-Canada, along with El Al and Fattal International Hotels & Resorts, recently held a breakfast reception in Toronto to share updates about the destination with travel agents, industry partners and media.

Israel, which has consistently welcomed a high number of Canadian visitors over the years, is experiencing some fluctuation in tourism numbers but remains optimistic that 2015 will end on a high note. According to Ellen Melman, Director Operations & Marketing, Travel Industry & Community Relations for the Israel Ministry of Tourism, a total of 69,000 Canadians visited in 2012, 71,000 in 2013, 66,000 in 2014, and this year there have been 57,000 Canadian visitors to date, with hopes of reaching 70,000 by year’s end.

This would mean the destination would be on track to reach 75,000 visitors in 2016.

Optimism abounds at El Al, the flag carrier of Israel, which is flying high over several new updates. Jacob Mazgaonkar, Sales & Marketing Representative, noted that the airline is “one of the safest airlines in the world”, something that holds much value particularly in light of recent global events.

Mazgaonkar also announced that El Al is becoming increasingly more modern; the airline recently signed an agreement for 15 new Dreamliners, which will replace its 767s and 747s. The new aircraft are scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2017.

In terms of routes, El Al has four routes that fly from North America, including nonstop service from Boston onboard a 767, which was added in June 2015. In addition to Boston, El Al flies from Toronto, New York and Los Angeles, with more nonstop North American routes planned for the future. Mazgaonkar could not confirm which destinations will be added, but reiterated that “more are coming”.

He also noted that Economy Plus seats are “a big hit right now”. On service from Toronto, there are 24 Economy Plus seats priced at an additional US$150 each way. Perks include extra seat pitch and recline, a welcome kit, plus a tablet that comes pre-loaded with movies.

Rounding out the presentation was Moshe Elazar, Director of Sales, North America Market at Fattal International Hotels & Resorts. With 60 hotels in Europe, 32 of which are scattered throughout Israel, Fattal’s presence in the region is far-reaching, spread out over five different brands: Herods, Leonardo, U Hotels, Magic and Hotel Rothschild 22.

Elazar highlighted several recent developments, including the new Herods Herzliya, which opened its doors eight months ago. Featuring 252 designer rooms including 90 suites and garden rooms, the property is the only hotel in Israel situated on an island in the heart of the sea, a few metres off the shore of Herzliya marina.

Herods Jerusalem is on track to complete its two-year renovation by year’s end, at which point it will be renamed Herods Plaza in Jerusalem. Located minutes from the Old City, the prestigious hotel will debut major upgrades to all 269 rooms.

Most recently, Fattal welcomed Hotel Rothschild 22 Tel Aviv to its portfolio. Located on Tel Aviv’s bustling Rothschild Boulevard, the newly opened boutique hotel offers 156 rooms, a breakfast gallery, 24/7 room service, a gym, meeting rooms and a deluxe business lounge.

Fattal Hotels is offering a number of promotions, including a special rate of US$139 per night (single/double) that includes complimentary Israeli breakfast daily, free WiFi at participating hotels in Israel, VIP amenities in-room and a free upgrade. This offer is valid for stays from Nov. 15, 2015 through April 20, 2016.

Also available is the ‘5 Wonders’ package, which includes seven consecutive nights’ stay at a minimum of two selected premium hotels and a free seven-day car rental. This package is priced from $990 per person, sharing double.

Participating hotels for both offers include: Leonardo Plaza Jerusalem, Leonardo Plaza Tiberias, Herods Tel-Aviv, Herods Herzliya, Herods Dead Sea Hotel & Spa and Herods Palace Eilat.

For more information on travel to Israel, visit goisrael.com, elal.com and fatal.co.il.