German health officials are visiting Israel to learn about the opportunities and health benefits available at the Dead Sea. Israel's tourism industry hopes to promote medical tourism from Germany.
A delegation of representatives from Germany's Health Ministry and health funds arrived in Israel today for a three day visit at the initiative of the Tourism Ministry, the Dead Sea Hotels Association, and the Tamar Regional Council. The objective of the visit is to present the medical benefits of the Dead Sea and remove any obstacles for German tourists who are interested in receiving medical care in Israel.
Germany is the fourth largest European country of origin for incoming tourists to Israel. Over 80,000 visitors from Germany arrived in Israel during January-July 2008, an increase of 44% over the same period last year. In July 2008, more than 9,500 tourists arrived from Germany, an increase of 26% over the July 2007 figure of 7000 tourists.
The German delegation, which is headed by the Director General of the German Ministry of Health, will visit Ein Gedi and Masada. On Wednesday, the delegation will attend a medical seminar on the rehabilitative and therapeutic qualities of the Dead Sea that will include lectures and a medical panel with doctors and medical personnel from the area, as well as a visit to a solarium.
Tourism Ministry director general Shaul Tzemach said, "Germany is the European country with the largest potential for increased tourism into Israel and the Tourism Ministry will work to realize that potential in 2009 with a significant increase in the marketing budget in Germany. Medical tourism in the Dead Sea is one of the market segments in which the ministry will operate in Germany, a sector which has provided significant income for the Dead Sea hotels in the past."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 2, 2008
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