New travel initiatives welcome tourists to Israel
Israel recorded 1.14 million overseas visitors in the first quarter of this year, up 14% from the corresponding period of 2018. With new travel friendly services initiated in the country, Israel is certainly set to welcome record millions by the end of 2019.
- Israel Pass– Make your trip smooth and easy and secure entry into six best national parks and nature reserves including Masada, Ein Gedi, Caesarea, Qumran and enjoy unlimited use of public transportation throughout Israel with the all new Israel Pass. Launched by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety and the Ministry of Tourism, the card can be purchased at the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety booth in the arrival’s hall in Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion Airport.
- The Ilan and Asaf Ramon International Airport– The country's newest airport located in Timna Valley will service the Red Sea resort city of Eilat and surrounding region and is Israel's first civil airport built from scratch. Slated to become a major game changer for local and international tourism to Israel, the new airport is expected to host 2.25 million passengers annually which is estimated to touch 4.25 million travellers per year. Spread across 1,250 acres, the airport is a minimalist and futuristic design in the middle of the Negev Desert framing the stunning scenery of the Desert mountainscape.
- New bus line connecting Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv hotels–Number 445, the new bus line launched by the Kavim company will operate 24 hours a day, Sunday to Thursday on an hourly frequency. The line will function until one hour before the Sabbath begins on Friday and from an hour after the Sabbath ends on Saturday night. Costing NIS 9.30, tourists are taken on a unique route from Ben Gurion Airport passing Tel Aviv’s hotel areas, Ben Yehuda Street, Yehuda Halevi Street, Menachem Begin Street and the railway complex. It also joins the Israel Railways train lines which operate from the train stations in Tel Aviv, 24 hours a day until the Sabbath begins. Tourists can save time and need not switch to another mode of public transportation at the train station in Tel Aviv.
- New VIP Luxury Lounge at Ben Gurion Airport– The Fattal terminal at Ben Gurion Airport offers luxurious pre-flight services at all stages, from check-in to security and customs. With a conference room, two shopping stores, six private rooms, a resting room and a private bathing room, stewards are available to guests at all times. Passengers, who will be charged between$400 to $800 a head, who can wait in private rooms or in the lobby, may eat, drink or smoke a cigar and travel to the plane in a private vehicle. The private terminal will also enable business people to come for two or three hours for a business meeting.
- Ben Gurion Airport to be expanded– To cope with the increasing passenger traffic, Ben Gurion Airport’s main Terminal 3 will be expanded by 80,000 square-meters, including the addition of 90 new check-in counters, four new baggage conveyor belts and expansion of the existing duty-free space, immigration checkpoints and parking facilities. A fifth passenger concourse will also be constructed to accommodate additional aircrafts.
- New on-demand shuttle service in Tel Aviv- New York ridesharing company Via Transportation Inc. in collaboration with Israeli public transportation company Dan have launched a new on-demand van shuttle service called Bubble. The app lets users order rides that automatically devises a route to best suit the needs of all passengers, who are picked up and dropped off only at existing bus stops, to which they are directed by the app. Users are charged a flat NIS 15 fee for a single ride during rush hours and NIS 12.5 otherwise which is significantly cheaper than a taxi or can also opt for a 10-ride subscription at NIS 120. Senior citizens get a 50% discount and the service is available from Sunday to Thursday, between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.