With a generous £4million budget  to promote the Holy Land in the UK, the Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) invited travel agents and journalists to meet hoteliers and executives at a champagne buffet at No 1 Whitehall Place on Tuesday.

A 17 percent year-on-year increase on visits by UK residents to Israel and a new  advertising campaign on British television made it the right time to bring representatives from many of Israel’s most luxurious hotels in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to talk about the facilities they offer
visitors.

Among the visiting directors was Moshe Elazar of the American Colony in Jerusalem, which only last month hosted actor Richard Gere for a week.

The property also provided regular rooms for former prime minister Tony Blair before he resigned from his post as Middle East peace envoy.

Yossi Navi of the Carlton Tel Aviv on the Beach Hotel, and Benny Levy of Isrotel were among others present to introduce their properties to travel agents who had not previously worked with Israel.

Sue Bryant of The Sunday Times gave a an encouraging talk on the year-round appeal of Tel Aviv as a weekend destination.

The attendance of veteran marketeer Rafi Baeri of Dan Hotels, who is about to welcome US President Donald Trump and his 600-plus entourage to three of the company’s Jerusalem properties, reinforced IGTO’s message of Israel as the perfect host.