A new Tourism Ministry campaign seeks to incorporate people-to-people tactics to encourage foreigners to visit Israel.
The campaign, titled ‘kol echad mevi echad’ (everyone brings someone), asks Israelis to send invitations to friends, colleagues, and relatives around the world via digital videos or postcards that contain enticing information about Israel through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
In return, Israeli participants will take part in a lottery to win one of 200 travel packages. Their chances of winning the travel prize will increase each time they send out an invitation.
The campaign will be run in conjunction with the Israeli media site, Mako, and headed by Israeli model and actress Noa Tishby. It is set to launch on October 21 at an estimated cost of NIS 6 million.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov called tourism to Israel — an industry that contributes some NIS 18 billion per year to the Israeli economy — an “unparalleled opportunity… that creates thousands of jobs, especially in the periphery. Using Zionism to promote the economy and employment is something everyone can identify with,” he added.
Every 36 tourists create one additional job and bring in approximately NIS 225,000, according to the ministry.
The ministry believes Israelis will take advantage of the “opportunity to promote and protect Israel,” it said in a media statement Wednesday. “They understand the importance [tourism] has for the national economy.”
Between January and August 2012, a record 2.3 million tourists visited Israel, seven percent higher than the number of visitors in the same period last year.
Tishby, tasked with heading the project, currently resides in Los Angeles. As a television producer, she sold the television series “In Treatment” to HBO — one of the first Israeli television shows to be adapted into an American series — and acts as the show’s co-executive producer, along with Mark Wahlberg.
Tishby is also prominent in the Israeli-Jewish diaspora activism world. She is a member of AIPAC and the Israeli Consulate Speakers Bureau and is a co-founder of the digital activism group Act For Israel.