Tourism between India & Israel impressive: envoy Alon Ushpiz
New Delhi | Thursday, May 29 2014 IST
Describing tourism as one of the focus areas between India and Israel, Israel's Ambassador to India Alon Ushpiz has stated that the sector had recorded an impressive growth recording an arrival of 80,000 to 90,000 people from both countries.
In an interaction with UNI journalists here last evening, Mr Ushpiz listed tourism as one of the areas of focus between India and Israel.
"Tourism between India and Israel has been very impressive. We have had a total of 80,000 to 90,000 tourist arrivals in both countries," the Ambassador, who is completing his tenure in a few weeks,said.
"In fact, India has been the number one country of destination for Israelis in Asia," he added putting the number of arrivals at 40,000 to 45,000.
He said nearly 40,000 Indians visit Israel every year, which includes not just tourists but also those on business purposes.
"Business visas are issued in the shortest possible time," Mr UShpiz said.
In order to ensure faster processing, Visa Application Centres operated by Israel Visa Services are operating in New Delhi and Mumbai, he added.
The Israel Ambassador said the government wanted more and more Indian filmmakers, including those from Bollywood, Tamil and Telugu filmmakers, to come to Israel to shoot their films in breathtaking locales.
In this context, he said the Dead sea, the lowest point on the Earth's surface and the deepest hypersaline lake in the world, was a favourite among Telugu filmmakers from Hyderabad.
Crediting Indian films shot in Israel with promoting the country as a tourist destination, Mr Ushpiz said, "Indians entering Tel Aviv are doing very good work to promote tourism from India to Israel. We will be very happy if more Bollywood and Telugu filmmakers shoot their films in Israel."
Indian films, especially Bollywood movies are popular in Israel and much in demand from Indian expatriates and a growing number of Israelis.
The Indian Jews, estimated to be above 50,000 in Israel, are among the biggest fans of Bollywood movies and music. In fact, the Ranbir Kapoor Deepika Padukone-starrer 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' recently got a theatrical release in Israel (it was subtitled in Hebrew). The last Bollywood film to released there was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Devdas' in 2002.
With access to television shows such as "Indian Idol" and "Nach Baliye", scores of Israeli youths are showing keen interest in Indian film music and dance, especially those who have parents from India.