Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen welcomed Tuesday the first Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Israel, along with a delegation of key stakeholders in the tourism industry led by Economy and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani.
Following the reception, Farkash-Hacohen said: “I am honored to welcome H.E. Minister Al Zayani, who arrived with the head of the Tourism Authority and members of the business sector to promote mutual tourism between the countries. The opening of direct flights, and the travel of people between the countries, is an essential step towards building peace between our nations. I look forward to hosting the Minister and his delegation, showing them a taste of Israel’s scenes and heritage, and introducing them to Israel’s private tourism sector.”
The Bahraini delegation includes, in addition to the Minister, the Director of the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority, the CEO and CCO of Gulf Air, and the Chairman of the Association of Bahrain Travel & Tour Agents. During the visit, which will last until Thursday, Israel’s Ministry of Education will hold a series of working meetings between the visitors and key players in the local tourism industry, including President of the Israel Hotel Association Amir Hayak, CEO of The Israel Association of Travel Agencies & Consultants Tali Laufer, and CEO of the Incoming Tour Operators Association Yossi Fatael. Additionally, the Bahraini delegation will tour Yerushalayim and visit Tel Aviv.
Conversations will revolve around mutual promotion packages and tourism initiatives, as well as turning Israel into a destination for Gulf Air flights from other countries. On Wednesday Ministers Farkash-Hacohen and Al Zayani will sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of tourism, which includes the establishment of a bilateral forum to promote mutual tourism, with representatives from both governments and the public sector of each country.
“For the past two months we have worked hard to turn peace from an idea to a reality, and the tourism MOU between the countries is an important step in that direction,” Farkash-Hacohen said. “The tens of thousands of tourists who will arrive from Bahrain and the UAE when the skies reopen will experience Israel in the best way possible. Such visits contribute not only to building peace between the countries and people, but also towards strengthening Israel as a tourist destination for millions of people from around the world.”