May 16, 2012, Updated May 17, 2012

As proof that Israel is still a top destination for holiday travel, the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) recently announced that it will hold its annual conference here next year.

USTOA, which is considered the largest tourism wholesalers association in the US, will be guests of the Tourism Ministry.

“The organization’s choice of Israel as the venue for their annual conference represents a vote of confidence in the Israeli tourism industry and in the quality of Israel’s tourism product. The massive annual marketing investment by the Tourism Ministry in the US – about $15 million – continues to bear fruit,” said Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov.

Misezhnikov initiated the idea of the conference taking place in Israel during his meeting with USTOA leaders in February. He said that strengthening tourism ties between the two countries will lead to an increase in the number of visitors to Israel while improving Israel’s image overseas.

In 2011, some 600,000 tourists visited Israel from the US, the largest source country for incoming tourism. The average American tourist spends 12 nights in Israel, spending about $1800. Revenue from incoming tourism from the US reached about $1 million in 2011.

The last time USTOA held its annual conference in Israel was in 1995.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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