|Roots for IsramWorld are in the Middle East, where Israel was first stop in 1967 for the newly established tour company. Then right after the signing of the Camp David Accords in 1979, IsramWorld was the first|
mainstream U.S. tour operator to enter the Egypt market. After 44 years in this somewhat chaotic corner of the world, destination expertise and experience paid off once again last January when the “Arab Spring” took to the streets of Cairo, where having its own operations office was key to ensuring passenger well-being and security on the ground and getting everyone home expeditiously and safely. Customer service for clients under all vacation circumstances is undoubtedly a major reason that, for the fifth year in a row, Isram—whose umbrella company is IsramWorld—is the Readers’ Choice Awards winner for Best Tour Operator, Middle East.
“We appreciate this ongoing vote of confidence from our one and only distribution partners: travel agents,” says Ady Gelber, CEO of IsramWorld. “Together we share and serve a 30 percent repeat-client market for whom we design memorable vacations in many corners of the globe.”
In the Middle East right now, Gelber notes that “tourism to Egypt is just plain flat, although without doubt, we have bookings for travelers capitalizing on a history-in-the-making experience, as well as crowds-free access to many of the monumental places that make Egypt a must-visit destination.” Gelber also says that earlier this year, many bookings for Egypt only or that combined Egypt and Israel, were converted to full-scale vacations in Israel, as well as Israel plus Jordan. “We have a varied product for the first- or second-time visitor to Israel, and this year there’s been an uptick in one-stop Israel vacations.”
And why not, for as Gelber points out, the quality of the visitor attractions, services and products in Israel is top-of-the-line. “Our guides are like those in no other country—they are carefully selected, well-trained, and have that extra dimension of wanting to be ambassadors for their country.” And those guides have several new attractions to show visitors next year: the newly reopened Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the new wing on the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Israel’s first architecture museum in Haifa. And, Gelber adds, “Hotels in Israel nowadays are more than up to European standards,” with The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, for instance, debuting in 2012 on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean coast.
“Our bookings this year and next for Israel are solid,” says IsramWorld’s CEO, “and the nonstop demand is for customized, upscale vacations, as presented in our Elite Travel Collection.” Featured are perfectly-paced itineraries, the finest rooms in the finest hotels, luxury chauffeur-driven limousines available virtually 24/7, and a professional escort-guide to insure smooth service and help to make adjustments to suit client moods. Customized, of course, and very strong, according to Gelber, is Isram’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah business, and the company’s special destination expert touch has been applied to its 9-night A Woman’s View…Israel tour program, visiting Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Galilee and Tel Aviv. Operating May to December and priced from $3,595 pp dbl, the tour features deluxe hotels plus a kibbutz guesthouse stay, 17 meals, seven full sightseeing days, and a professional directress, on board to help deliver the vacation of a lifetime.