Israel, its tourism and the importance of the Abraham Accords

Israel's ambassador to Spain, Rodica Radian Gordon, explains how the Arab-Israeli agreements have influenced the normalisation of tourism and the economy in the region

 -   - Ambassador of Israel to Spain, Rodica Radian-Gordon

The International Tourism Fair (FITUR) held in Madrid has for Israel's ambassador to Spain, Rodica Radian Gordon, a notable difference: the desire to travel again. Israel, the melting pot of modernity and avant-garde, as the diplomat defines it, is one of the star options. 

We are at a large, beautiful and, above all, crowded stand. How are you experiencing this FITUR? 

That's right, this year has a big difference compared to last year. I think the general feeling is that people are already recovering after these two very difficult years of the pandemic. At this FITUR there is a growing interest in visiting Israel and the Israelis representing different tourism companies are very happy about it. They are all telling me what a pleasure it is to be in Madrid. In addition to this, I believe that tourism relations are changing and are based on more growth and rapprochement. This year we expect them to be a great success. 

Cities like Tel Aviv or Jerusalem are key in a visit to Israel, what would you highlight about the country for all those who want to visit it? 

I have just visited the stand of the very well-known Old City of AKKO (Acre), which is also next to the Mediterranean, in the north of Israel. A city that has a lot of history, a lot of present attractions and is a symbol of Arab-Israeli coexistence. In fact, I think it's part of the tourist trail in Israel. Of course, Nazareth, the northern part of Israel that represents everything that has to do with the Holy Land, which I imagine is more familiar to Spaniards. Besides this religious aspect, every tourist will also feel the vibrant life of today's Israel.

A country that combines modernity with tradition, isn't it? 

Yes, one of the tourist agents just told us that nowadays they also organise tours that are based on innovation, that is, tourists who are very interested in seeing what the Start up Nation is, the companies that operate in it and places where innovation takes place alongside tourism. 

How important are the Abraham Accords for this business and financial tourism coming from the Gulf countries? We see that many Arabs who had not considered visiting Israel are now doing so. 

Yes, we are very happy about that. There are more and more business people and tourists coming from the Gulf countries to visit, to get to know Israel and to look for opportunities to do business in the country. I think this is a very important sign for the normality that is being created in the region. 

From Atalayar, we travel a lot to Morocco and they tell us that these Abraham Accords are an interesting and relevant framework for stability, progress and security in the area. 

I totally agree. I think it can be a very interesting link and I think we all have to look for more common projects to strengthen these ties. 

What would you say to the Spaniards who are watching us why they should go to Israel? 

I think Israel is very interesting from a historical point of view, from the present, it is a very modern country, but also from the future. Israel is a leading and avant-garde country in many ways and it also has a very interesting population, which comes from many countries and has many traditions. Israel has created a melting pot and a fusion of this mixture of tradition and modernity.