- ‘An unstoppable city’ where ancient and modern coexist
- ‘Incentive Tour’ with wine and vegetarian centered gourmets
- Also, the ‘Kosher’ culture that bans pork and alcohol
What comes to mind if you think of Israel? Some classic examples come into minds such as Jewish, Jerusalem, Hebrew, etc. That’s correct. Israel is a source of four thousand years of long history, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. ‘Wailing Wall’, ‘Dome of the Rock’, ‘Dead Sea’, and ‘Holy Sepulcher’ are well-known tourist attractions. In Korea, Israel is also widely known as a place of pilgrimage. In fact, the vast majority of Korean tourists visit historic places appeared in the bible.
However, there is also a nickname of ‘An unstoppable city’. Tel Aviv with its vibrant city culture and spectacular nightlife and Beersheba, the desert oasis located in the capital of the Negev region on the Dead Sea, are the typical examples. Especially, Beersheba is famous for its academic city due to the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Tourists can experience both history and modernity simultaneously.
Current Israel is a very modern and high-tech country. There are over three thousand high-tech and venture companies in Israel. It is second-highest rate of distribution in the world after Silicon Valley in the US. Even the airport itself is very modern. On account of such presence, it is popular with companies that run ‘Incentive Programs’.
The author’s company is a 36-year-old professional DMC. On average, it attracts about 12,000 customers, which is about 40 groups a year. This year alone, it attracted two groups of massive incentive tours of size estimated from 3,000 to 4,000 customers. These groups hosted customized gala dinner ‘White Gloves Gala’ at the 3,000 years old Biblical Cave in Jerusalem.
The reason why Israel is so popular with the Incentive tour group in the field of MICE is that people can taste high-quality wines from more than 300 wineries, and many gourmets can be enjoyed by anyone around the world without repulsion due to its vegetarian eating habits. Korean food is also easily accessible in Israel as well. All of these factors are being told to the world through history and stories.
One fascinating thing is that McDonald’s in Israel does not sell cheeseburgers for Jews. This is because of the culture called ‘Kosher’. It is a highly recognized food culture similar to Islam’s ‘Halal’, and all Jews strictly follow this ‘Kosher’ culture. However, not all Israelis are Jews, nor are all Kosher’s. The characteristic of ‘Kosher’ is that they never consume pork and alcohol, and according to the bible, they do not consume both dairy and meat. Both meat and fish are each differentiated into edible and inedible ones.
The Government says ‘Marketing’, Corporation asserts ‘Sales’
Israel’s PCOs or DMCs directly run into sales to win a contract for events. There is no government-led bidding platform (a bidding system similar to our country’s KONEPS). Privately-owned businesses account for more than 80%, and each company is directly performing sales to win orders for the MICE sector. It is the structure where the government focuses on marketing, and corporation performs sales.
Related examples are found not only in the MICE industry but also in the aerospace industry. As Israel entered into the moon orbit as seventh in the world, it certainly has advanced aerospace industry. But this industry is also a result of private companies. From the views of the Israel MICE industry, it is an opportunity for them to increase the number of young visitors who cherish the universe.
Israel is a small but strong country. It is a country that reads tons of books and has a long life. The country strives to improve on its own. Such diligence will be similar to Koreans and Jews. Hopefully, one will come to Israel to feel and experience a similar but different culture.
Amnon Ben David Managing Director
Eshet Incentives & Conferences - EUROMIC Israel