MANILA -- Israel urged Filipino tourists to take advantage of their visa-free privilege and consider Israel as their next tourist destination.
In a tourism roadshow held in Makati with tour operators, Sammy Yahia, director for the Israel Ministry of Tourism in India and the Philippines, said there are several attractions in store for travelers to Israel from nature destinations such as bird watching in Hula Lake in Galilee to historical sites in Jerusalem, ski resorts in the north, desert activities in the Negev, and swimming activities in the Dead Sea.
Israel is also being promoted as as “the ultimate business events destination” and a foodie’s paradise with wineries available.
“For you it’s (visa) free, please just buy ticket and come,” Yahia said.
Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said Filipino travelers enjoy visa-free privilege in recognition of President Manuel Quezon’s decision to open Philippine borders to Jewish refugees, saving lives from the war and the Philippines’ vote in the United Nations in 1947 in favor of the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel, the only country in Asia to do so.
“This is something extremely important. And for that reason, actually, you are benefiting, for your businesses until today because this is the reason why Filipinos do not need a visa to Israel. It is the historical support and warm (close relationship) and it shows you really as human beings, as people, how close we are,” Fluss said.
“So geographically we are very far. This is a tropical country; Israel is dry land. Middle East, Southeast Asia. But in the heart but also I think in the personality, in the approach to people, Israelis and Filipinos connect very well together.”