As part of the Ministry of Tourism’s plan to upgrade Eilat, the Red Sea beach resort city is now being primed as Israel’s next international sports destination.
This month, Eilat will host the European U23 Triathlon Championships between October 27 and 29.
Two major events are planned for December – the first ever Israel Formula Race and the first International Desert Half Marathon.
The Israel Formula Race will include a drifting race, freestyle shows and tracks for men and women. According to the ministry, professional European racers will take part in the event. Then, at the end of the year, the desert half marathon will include a fun run, 10 km, and a half marathon past some spectacular scenery.
The ministry said it will invest $1.1 million just in the city’s sporting events during the next year.
“The Ministry of Tourism is working toward placing Eilat as a significant and important resort for incoming tourism, with various activities and budgets,” said Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov.
Israel is one of the leading places for extreme sports worldwide. So it makes sense that the Ironman event will be held in Israel. It’s set for January 20-21, 2012 and hundreds of athletes from around the world are expected to participate in the competition.
The list of sporting events continues. In February 2012, Eilat is scheduled to host for the second year in a row the Women’s Tennis Federation Cup. Then the Desert Challenge, Israel’s biggest and most professional mountain bike marathon will take place at the end of February 2012.
Other planned events include the European Triathlon Championship; U20 World Weightlifting Championships; International Academic Sports Association Championship; and the European Chess Championship.
“Hosting European championships places Eilat on the international sports map, which is part of the strategic plan to promote tourism to Eilat and part of the initiative to rebrand the city,” said Eilat Mayor, Meir Yizhak Halevi.