Estimate in Israel: 2006 will be a record year for tourism to the United States
bye Ilan Shchori
The Pow Wow tourism conference, which is considered the world’s biggest and most colorful tourism event, will open this weekend in Orlando. Over 70 countries, which will be represented by over 6,000 top professionals in the field of tourism, who coordinate the sales of trips to the United States in their countries, will participate and will do business to the tune of $3.5 billion. In a conversation with Tourist Guide, Roger Dow, President and Chairman of the Tourism Industries of America, said that according to the forecasts, the number of Israeli tourists in the United States will rise significantly each year, and that the Americans are looking forward to the arrival of Israeli tourists and perceive them as an extremely important component of global tourism to the United States.
By Ilan Shchori
Israel is in a low 20th place on the list of countries from which tourists traveled to the United States in 2005. According to the official figures published by the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Industries of America (TIA), 284,310 Israelis visited the United States in 2005, a small 3% increase compared with the number of Israelis who visited the United States in 2004. These figures were published in advance of the Pow Wow, the American tourism industry’s major conference, which will be held for the 38th time and is scheduled to open this weekend in Orlando, Florida. However, the figures do not actually reflect the number of Israelis who visit the United States. For example, Israelis who hold a US passport are not counted as tourists. According to the estimates of the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Israel Tourists and Travel Agents Association and other sources in the travel industry, over half a million Israelis visited the United States in 2005.
According to all the estimates, 2006 will be a record year in terms of the number of Israelis visiting the United States, for a number of reasons: The reduction in the price of tickets to the United States, the increase in the number of seats, the entry of Delta Airlines and its direct flight to Atlanta and its intention of operating a second weekly flight by the end of the year, direct to New York, five regular weekly flights by Israir and the expected entry of another American airline in a matter of months. There is also a possibility of the American airline Continental operating a third flight a day, in addition to its present two daily flights.
In a special interview with Tourist Guide Weekly on the eve of the Pow Wow convention Roger Dow, President and Chairman of the Tourism Industries of America (TIA), said that according to the TIA’s forecasts, the number of Israeli tourists in the United States will rise significantly each year, and that the American tourism industry is looking forward to Israeli tourism and perceives it as an extremely important component of global tourism to the United States, which is expected to total 52 million tourists in 2006, more than the number of visitors in the year 2000, which totaled 51 million. According to Dow, 49,401,528 tourists visited the United States in 2005, representing a 7% increase in the number of visitors to the United States in 2004. “The American tourism industry has recovered from the major crisis that hit it in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and we have now reached a growth phase. The upcoming Pow Wow convention will show the world the latest innovations in American tourism, and I hope that in the years ahead we will see a significant increase in global tourism to our country,” said Roger Dow.
Over 70 countries, which will be represented by over 6,000 top professionals in the field of tourism, who coordinate the sales of trips to the United States in their countries, will participate in the Pow Wow tourism conference in Orlando this weekend, which is considered the world’s biggest and most colorful tourism event. They will spend four days wandering among 1,200 booths and will do business with companies, hotels, attractions and airlines from all over the United States. According to the estimates of the heads of the TIA, they will do business to the tune of $3.5 billion at the conference. An Israeli delegation of tourism professionals and journalists will also participate in the Orlando Pow Wow Convention. Convention participants will also have the opportunity to hear some fascinating lectures. One of this year’s keynote speakers is Gerald Grinstein, President and Chairman of Delta Airlines, which began flying to Israel last month. According to the TIA’s plans, the countries that will hold the important convention up to the year 2011 have already been selected. Next year, in May 2007, the convention will be held in Anaheim, California, in 2008 it will be held in Las Vegas and in 2009 the Pow Wow will be held in Miami, Florida. In 2010 the convention will be held in Orlando, Florida once again and in 2011, if all goes according to plan, it will be held in San Francisco, California. According to figures provided by the TIA, cities that host these conventions enjoy a tremendous rise in the number of American and foreign tourists who visit it in the years following the convention. * For the past year Tourist Guide, the tourism weekly, has also operated a separate website devoted to those researching the history of Tel Aviv. The website, http://www.mytelaviv.co.il, contains documents, minutes and pictures from the early days of Tel Aviv, a researchers forum and a list of books about the early years of Tel Aviv and the Land of Israel. The site is managed by Ilan Shchori, editor of Tourist Guide weekly, who is currently completing his studies towards a doctoral degree in the history of the city of Tel Aviv during the British Mandate.