The Israel Government Tourist Office has turned to travel specialist Hills Balfour for its first major consumer push in more than a year. It wants to emphasise that, despite the Arab Spring revolutions in neighbouring countries, Israel has remained a safe destination.
'The revolutions in nearby countries have highlighted the safety and security of Israel,' said Hills Balfour MD Jonathan Sloan. 'It is different from other countries in the area because it has a relaxed atmosphere, great freedom of expression and is very liberal.
'We will reassure UK consumers that it is a secure destination.'
Until now, the PR focus has been on building awareness of the destination in the travel industry, from tour operators to travel agents. Now, the agency will begin a major consumer PR campaign to promote the 'hidden gems' of Israel. The aim is to increase the number of UK visitors, length of stay and overall awareness of Israel in the UK.
Israel is particularly keen to attract the high-end traveller and Hills Balfour will focus on promoting the range of experiences that can be found in Israel, from historical trips to Jerusalem to wellbeing trips to the Dead Sea. It will also promote Tel Aviv as a gay-friendly city.
Hills Balfour won the three-year account following a five-way pitch. IGTO has not worked with a PR agency for the past year. Prior to this, McCluskys held the account.