Director of tourism at JDA: 'The world is choosing Jerusalem'

'Jerusalem is the central meeting point of the world,' Ilanit Melchior said, 'and a true blend of East and West'

Ilanit Melchior, director of tourism for the Jerusalem Development Authority, told attendees at The Jerusalem Post-Khaleej Times Global Investment Forum in Dubai that the world is choosing Jerusalem as a major tourist destination.

"Jerusalem is the central meeting point of the world," she said, "and a true blend of East and West."

Melchior explained that while the city is the leading destination for the three monotheistic religions, it appeals to a wide range of interests.

Today, Melchior explained, tourists are searching for authenticity, in-depth experiences, travel with a purpose, smart destinations, sustainability and local experiences, and Jerusalem offers a wide variety of different experiences to meet these needs.

The Old City is an area of religious tourism, while the city centre represents urban tourism. The city's entrance, with the Jerusalem International Convention Center and the Jerusalem Gateway project, is a centre of business tourism. The museum district is an area of urban culture, and Ein Kerem is a centre of sustainability.

Melchior noted that the city is accessible to tourists. Today, one can travel from Ben-Gurion Airport to the city in just 28 minutes, and the city's light rail system enables convenient transportation within the city.

"Travelers have visited Jerusalem's holy sites since ancient times," said Melchior. "When we think of Israel as the Start-Up Nation, we learn about new places. Experiencing both the old and new is our vision for Jerusalem."

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