Yesterday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakisis to discuss reopening tourism between the two countries, which is set to begin on August 1, 2020. Travelers coming to Israel from Greece will not need to partake in the 14-day quarantine.
“We are thrilled that we have been able to set a date for resuming international tourism, beginning with Greece,” said Asaf Zamir, Israel Minister of Tourism. “This is an important development for the citizens of our two countries and a critical step in restoring the travel industry around the globe, helping to position us all for economic recovery following the pandemic.”
“Resuming flights between Israeli and Greek travelers is the first step in reopening the country for visitors across the globe,” said Eyal Carlin, Israel Tourism Commissioner for North America. “We look forward to expanding international travel between Israel and North America in a safe, organized manner. As we’re already seeing flights resume this month from North America, and with new health and hygiene procedures in place, the tourism industry in Israel is working diligently to ensure that travelers feel safe when choosing Israel as their next destination.”
Israel began reopening the country to domestic tourism with a phased approach on May 4, 2020. Throughout the last several months, the Tourism Recovery Task Force has been working alongside Ministry officials to put together a plan for safely reopening the country by implementing the appropriate health and safety measures to keep travelers safe, including the Purple Standard for hotels and additional protocols for businesses and attractions.
To stay up-to-date with future travel to Israel or to plan your trip when the country reopens to international travel, visit HERE.
About the Israel Ministry of Tourism:
The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), is Israel’s national tourism agency responsible for planning and implementing marketing and promotional initiatives to position Israel as a preferred travel destination. IMOT aims to increase tourism traffic to contribute to Israel’s economy and to enhance and diversify the visiting experience. IMOT works to promote Israel’s impressive assortment of historical, cultural, culinary and religious attractions – each the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. IMOT offices in North America are located in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and Toronto.
Air Italy is delighted to announce that on March 29th 2020, will be recommencing its flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto, reiterating the airline’s commitment to North America in addition to its existing year-round services to New York and Miami.
The airline announced today the opening of sales for its 2020 summer season confirming Summer 2019 destination portfolio and providing an opportunity for early planning for both the trade and the public.
In addition to the above routes, all of the current 2019 summer schedule to Africa: Cairo, Dakar, Accra, Lagos and Sharm el Sheikh are also on sale for 2020.
Air Italy will also be continuing to serve daily multi-frequencies and connections with international flights from Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia,
“Due to the excellent performance of our network during 2019, we are very pleased to be able to announce the commencement of sales for 2020 with the entire network remaining for next summer,” said Rossen Dimitrov, Chief Operating Officer. “This demonstrates our commitment to both the domestic and international market, our network strategy, and our desire to enhance the travel experience for our passengers once more, through early planning opportunities and continued service to our popular destinations.”
Milan Malpensa remains at the core of Air Italy’s 2020 network, with more than 170 weekly frequencies operating from the carrier’s main hub in the peak season, 26 of which are North Atlantic routes as follows:
Milan Malpensa – New York: daily annual
Milan Malpensa – Miami: 5 weekly annual
Milano Malpensa – Los Angeles: 4 weekly summer seasonal
Milano Malpensa – San Francisco: 4 weekly summer seasonal
Milano Malpensa – Toronto: 6 weekly summer seasonal
During the winter season 2019/2020, Air Italy will operate new long-haul seasonal destinations such as Maldives – which will be offered until the end of 2020 Easter holidays – alongside Mombasa and Zanzibar. These new routes will be launched in October 2019 and will be operated by the airline’s A330-200 aircraft during the winter replacing the summer seasonal flights from Milano Malpensa to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto.
Belize has been featured as the only Central American country on National Geographic’s Best Trips 2019 List. Quickly growing in popularity as one of the best tropical vacation destinations in the world, Belize is a blend of cultures and natural attractions and is a place that fully embraces its Central American and Caribbean roots, celebrates its diversity and takes great pride in its spectacular natural beauty. The San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Western Belize provides a perfect springboard for a vacation filled with adrenaline adventures, fine dining and opportunities to experience the infamous Maya Temples.
Black Hole Drop: Begin with a 2 hour hike up the Maya Mountains over the rainforest canopy at Actun Loch Tunich, “The Monster of All Caves.” Become mesmerized by incredible aerial views of jungle rainforests, then step off the ledge of the cliff for a 300-foot high rappelling adventure ride where you will have amazing visuals of the Black Hole and luscious greens. This experience is not for the faint of heart.
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave: This site has been featured on National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and History Channel because of its mesmerizing giant shimmering flowstone formations, stalactites, and stalagmites widely present throughout this 3-mile long cave. ATM features burial chambers, Maya artifacts, intact calcified human remains, and slate stelaes that were used for burials. The cave itself is several miles long with multiple chambers. Once inside the cave you will spend several hours swimming, climbing, and exploring.
Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant: Located at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant has a new Executive Chef, Enrique Awe whose culinary journey has brought him back to his hometown of San Ignacio after working for 16 years in the USA. The Restaurant showcases an international menu with the best of Belizean cuisine and features grass fed meats from the family’s own ranch where the restaurant got its name.
Trey’s Barn & Grill: Trey Roberson grills up the freshest cuisine in Western Belize and creates cocktails that pair well with his unique dishes. You can also find him at San Ignacio Resort Hotel for special cookouts on property with live music and libations.
Caracol: Located on the western edge of the Maya Mountains within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Caracol lies on a high plateau that drops into a deep valley to the northwest and rises into hilly terrain to the southwest. The site was discovered in 1938 by Rosa Mai, a logger looking for mahogany. Although one of the most challenging Belize ruins to reach, the trip to Caracol is also one of the most scenic drives. It is the largest known Maya center within the country and holds “Canaa” (Sky Place), the largest pyramid or man-made structure in Belize at 140 feet tall.
Cahal Pech: Located on a hill that overlooks the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, excavations show that Cahal Pech was inhabited from 1000 B.C. to around 800 A.D. The central part of the ruins provides a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area. Thirty-four structures, including temple pyramids, two ball courts, and an altar fill the 2 acre area.
Five of America’s largest airlines have nonstop flights to Belize from major cities across the country, making it easily accessible for US travelers.
JEWS ARRIVED IN INDIA PRIOR TO THE CHANUKAH STORY: EXPLORE INDIA THROUGH JEWISH EYESTM WITH PACIFIC DELIGHT TOURS
Pacific Delight Tours continues its kosher “Jewish eyes” tours in conjunction with the Foundation for Remote Jewish Communities featuring its annual INDIA: My Second Home program, Jan. 16-29, 2019.
Few people know that the pepper found on your kitchen table comes from a pepper exchange in Southern India located in a place called Jewtown. While this label might be deemed offensive in modern Western society, to a 2,000-year-old Jewish community in India, the name Jewtown is a source of pride that honors the long history of Jews in India and the great contributions Jews have made to Indian society.
Tour participants will learn how this isolated Diaspora community has evolved in its own unique way. For example, Jews in India celebrate every Jewish holiday except Chanukah because their society pre-dates Chanukah. This and many more fascinating, little known stories of the Jewish experience in India will be discussed by Prof. Nathan Katz, one of the world’s foremost scholars on Jews in India.
Participants will have opportunities to meet and interact with India’s diverse Jewish communities in Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and
New Delhi and join Shabbat at the Judah Hyam synagogue in New Delhi as well as at Kenesseth Eliyahoo, also known as the Fort Synagogue, in Mumbai (pictured right), which dates back to 1884. Other historic synagogues include Kolkata’s 19th century Italian Renaissance-style Magen David synagogue and the historic Paradesi synagogue in Jewtown, constructed during the Mughal era in the 16th century.
The program visits the “must-see” sights of India such as the iconic Taj Mahal and Elephanta Caves, cruises Kerala’s scenic backwaters, peddles through Old Delhi and other UNESCO World Heritage sites via rickshaw, and features a private recital featuring traditional Indian music and dance.
India is known for its antiquity and spirituality, its cultural export dubbed “Bollywood”, and its contrast of bustling cities and pristine nature-a fascinating kaleidoscope that is the world’s largest democracy. “What is typically not known is India’s long history as one of the most hospitable homes in the Diaspora, without a trace of anti-Semitism,” said Prof. Katz.
“A Jew, Sarmad Kashani, was the most celebrated patron saint of 17th century Indian poetry. So too, Jews have been among India’s great mystics, taken center stage in Bollywood, served as mayor of major cities, and produced the country’s greatest military hero, General J. F. R. ‘Jack’ Jacob,” explained Prof. Katz.
India My 2nd Home features deluxe hotels such as Mumbai’s five-star Taj Mahal Tower overlooking the Arabian Sea. Other accommodations include the Taj Vivanta Malabar in Kochi, the Oberoi Grand in Kolkata, Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi and ITC Mughal Hotel in Agra.
The fully-escorted tour cost is $7,195 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes deluxe accommodations, all intra-India flights and transportation, the services of an English-speaking escort and local guides including acclaimed scholar Prof. Nathan Katz, most meals (kosher or strictly vegetarian) including memorable lunches and dinners with the Jewish communities in India, fascinating sightseeing and excursions, and exclusive cultural events not open to the general public. All gratuities to guides, drivers and hotel staff, as well as hotel taxes and service charges, are included in the package. International airfare, as well as passport and visa fees, are not included.
The tour cost includes a tax-deductible donation of $900 per person to FRJC, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational charity that is devoted to preserving and promoting the endangered Jewish communities on the periphery of the Diaspora, including India. Since its inception in 2003, FRJC has distributed more than $1.1 million for Jewish libraries, scholarships, and even sustainable farming projects. Learn more at www.frjc.org
Prof. Nathan Katz is distinguished Professor, Emeritus, Florida International University where he was director of Jewish Studies and founding director of the Program in the Study of Spirituality. He has written 15 books, including The Last Jews of Cochin and Who Are the Jews of India? A Fulbright scholar who has spent more than eight years in South Asia, Prof. Katz was delegate to the ground-breaking 1990 Tibetan-Jewish dialogue, hosted by the Dalai Lama, which was chronicled in the bestselling book, The Jew in the Lotus.
About Pacific Delight Tours
For 47 years, Pacific Delight Tours has been one of America’s leading tour operators to China and Asia. Among numerous industry awards, Pacific Delight is the proud recipient of theTravelAge West WAVE Award from 2008-2016, the 2009 Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Award, and the Travvy Award from travAlliancemedia for Best Vacation Packager, Asia for 2016 and 2017. The company is also a proud member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and its industry-leading $1 Million Bond.
Pacific Delight is dedicated to providing unparalleled vacation experiences for discerning travelers. Its long-standing reputation within the travel agent community is a testament to its unrivaled quality assurance, extensive expertise and customer service.
Alarmingly, there has been in increase in the amount of travelers left at airports due to flight disruptions.
According to a survey authorized by AirHelp, 75% of US travelers confirm that they feel uninformed by airlines about their rights.
As a solution, AirHelp launches a Passengers Rights Awareness Month. By this, a platform is created for worldwide travelers to connect with specially-picked global experts and consumer advocates to inform them about their travelers’ rights. Travelers will also receive helpful information if they ever find their flights to be delayed or cancelled, or if they are denied boarding.
Through this, passengers will always find it useful to learn about their rights to protect themselves for future trips.
Along with this change, AirHelp is opening up its social media platforms to travel connoisseurs and passenger rights advocates from all areas of the world.
The implementation of this is because in the U.S., less than 25% of travelers were on a disrupted flight actually filed a claim, and travelers from other countries are also leaving their issues unclaimed. This clearly shows that the EC 261 regulation is not widespread enough and that further actions must be considered as solutions.
“It is crystal clear that air passengers still feel powerless against airlines and many miss out on the compensation they’re owed by not filing a claim. And if airlines will not play their part to inform and educate their passengers, we will,” says Henrik Zillmer, CEO of AirHelp
With the launch of Passenger Rights Awareness Month, Zillmer hopes this will help improve their efforts in informing travelers of their rights.
For delayed or cancelled flights, or even the denial of boarding, passengers may be entitled to financial compensation of up to $700 per person in certain cases. The conditions for this state that the departure airport must be within the EU, or the airline carrier mist be based in the EU and landing in the EU.
It is important to keep in mind that for situations deemed as “extraordinary circumstances” such as storms or medical emergencies are exempt when it comes to compensating passengers–they do not qualify for flight compensation.
AirHelp is the world’s leading flight compensation company, helping passengers understand their rights and receiving compensation accordingly are why they are here to help. It has helped more than seven million people process airline compensation claims worth nearly $930 million in total. AirHelp offices are available across the world in 30 countries, supports in 16 languages, and employs more than 500 employees globally. They have served well in the past years and continue to serve on for years to continue.
Research shows increasing your customer retention rate by five percent has the potential to increase your profit by up to 95 percent. With the potential for a payoff like that out there, it’s absolutely imperative to consider as many ways as possible to hold on to your existing customer base. A proven method of accomplishing this is rewarding repeat customers with special offers in an effort to strengthen your relationship with them. Here are a few examples of winning loyalty programs to consider.
Make Points of Purchases
Perhaps the most common loyalty program, point systems entice customers to make a set number of purchases to earn a valuable reward. The key here is to make it easy as possible. Southwest Airlines had one of the simplest point programs ever devised by an airline. For every 10 flights you took with the airline during a calendar year, you got one free. Take 20 you got two, take 30 you got three, 40 got you four and so on. Easy to understand and easy to redeem it was one of the all time great frequent flyer programs. You can follow the airline’s lead for your ebook store. For every 10 books a customer buys in a year, they get one free. The key is simplicity. People got very upset when Southwest switched to a more complicated program.
No Fears of Tiers
As you’re strategizing ideas for how to sell an ebook online, consider instituting a program in which rewards become more valuable as your customers move farther up the food chain. Let 10 purchases get a customer a relatively inexpensive gift, while 30 garners them a better gift and 50 earns an even more valuable one. You can assign level designations as they make more purchases too. Purchasing 10 items within a certain time period qualifies them for “Silver Status”. Buying 30 makes them “Gold” while 50 turns them “Platinum”. Along with gifts can come ever more desirable perks as customers reach the upper tiers. These can include benefits such as chats with authors, sneak previews of new titles and opportunities to purchase new ebooks before they’re published.
It Pays to Play
Subscriptions and memberships are excellent ways to reward loyalty and get customers to make purchases in advance. Plus, they get a feeling of importance because they belong to your site’s VIP group. Wineries have been doing this with wine clubs for years. Similarly, the Amazon Prime strategy rewards users with fee two-day shipping; free streaming videos and a host of other benefits non-members don’t get. Remarkably, providing Prime benefits costs Amazon more than it makes in fees for them, but it serves as a loss leader. The company loses money on Prime memberships, but more than makes up on the purchases its Prime members make.
A Coalition of the Willing
By partnering with other merchants, you can allow your customers to earn discounts on other products and vice versa. This gives them the ability to turn their book purchases into currency on sites offering other things in which they have interests. Getting to know your clientele will serve you well as you determine what partnerships will be most beneficial. If your site caters primarily to a female shopper, then teaming with other sites offering products in which women are most likely to have an interest can be quite successful. The key is building a willing coalition of partners to which your customer base can relate.
These are the four examples of winning loyalty programs are the most common you’ll find. Of course, there are a number of ways within each category to incorporate your own nuances. This will make it uniquely your own and ideally make participating even more attractive to your ideal customer.
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