Krasnodar, 2 September. Vladimir Shklyar, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism representative for Russia.
- Israel is amongst the leading nations for vaccinated people compared to its population. Are the requirements for tourists equally demanding? And also, are Russian Covid-passports recognized in Israel?
- The situation, as with everything that has to do with Covid-19, so to speak, follows a wave pattern There was a period when the number of coronavirus cases in Israel was in the single digits, but today there is again an outbreak and an increase. This, in spite of the fact that 80% of the adult population has received the second dose of the vaccine (according to the Israeli Ministry of Health, as of August 27, 2021), and children from the age of 12 are being vaccinated as well. Moreover, recently, 15 minutes quick tests for the virus have been administered to children starting from the age of three. All countries are divided into three risk zones for Israel. Russia has just recently moved from the “red” zone, from which there are almost no flights, to the intermediate “orange” zone. This means that one can fly in with a special permit and take a PCR test, but has to pass a two-week quarantine upon arrival. So far, only medical tourists and people visiting close relatives can enter Israel from Russia. There are talks for the mutual recognition of vaccines, but so far they yield no results. For example, Israel recognizes the U.S. vaccine, but the country is in the “orange zone” because of the way the virus has raged there.
- Over the course of history, the territory of Israel has been a point of interest to travelers. What is the situation at present with the development of tourism?
- In recent years, the government has been actively financing the industry. The funds are being used to develop infrastructure and establish ties with other countries. For example, two flight directives were issued. Thus, for opening a flight from a new city which had not appeared in the flight program to Tel Aviv for more than a year, airlines involved received 250 thousand euros each. For each tourist brought to Eilat, the state paid 60 euros to flight consolidators. This stimulated carriers to activate the Israeli destination.
- For Russians, Israel is traditionally considered one of the most expensive tourist destinations. Are there plans for more affordable tours to increase the number of vacationers?
- For Russians, Israel is primarily a country where you can get comfortable, and that means a lot. Visa-free travel, a warm climate, no language barrier - in travel, such details are sometimes more important than discounts. However, I would say that in Israel, you can vacation at any financial status. Of the many types of tourism you just have to choose the right one. For example, food in restaurants is expensive. But there is fast food, which will be delicious and of good quality as well. In addition, now we are in the period when the tourist sector reduces prices.
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