Tourism: Israel focuses on national parks, nature and history

Over 60 sites, with attention to health, safety and experiences

23 February, 16:32

    Masada fortress Masada fortress

    ROME - Israel will focus on adventure, nature, direct experiences, sustainability, and technological assistance in its attempt to bring back tourism.

    With its vaccination program advancing fast and the arrival of spring, Israel is highlighting its over 60 natural and archaeological parks, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites (www.parks.org.il).

    ''We are working on reopening completely safely," said Orit Steinfeld, Marketing Director of the Israel Nature and Park Authority. For the entirety of 2021, the Israeli tourism and health ministries will work together to maintain a balance the management of public health and the economy, a sector of which tourism is a fundamental part for the country.

    ''Only'' as big as the Italian region of Lombardy at 28,000 square kilometers, Israel is one of the few countries in the world to border four seas: the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Dead Sea (considered the largest natural spa in the world), and Tiberias Sea.

    In addition to nature that goes from the desert in the south to green forests in the north and a melting pot of languages and populations that incarnate its millennial cultural heritage, of which every corner and rock of the desert bear witness to.

    And then there are the country's "crown jewels": Jerusalem, the ''umbelical of the world'', and Tel Aviv, its young city wherein new trends continue to be found.

    Italy, which is less than four hours away by plane is for Israel it sixth largest tourism market in the world and the fifth among those with the best growth trends (in 2019, the number of Italians rose by 77% on 2017).

    The new measures that have been implemented in the country's parks range from social distancing to tailormade services.

    In order to avoid dangerous crowding, there have been changes to the online reservation system that also calculates the maximum number of visitors outdoors as well and the Israel Pass, which makes it possible to visit several parks and move around using public transport.

    There are a vast number of options for walks in historic and Biblical areas as well as nature reserves with activities ranging from snorkeling at Eliat Coral Beach to volunteering to help clean up the beaches of the Dor Habonim Nature Reserve.

    History buffs can also be an ''archaeologist for a day'' at the Korazim National Park near the Sea of Galilee, visit the Masada fortress, or wander around any number of other sites mentioned in the Bible.

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