Israel Ministry of Tourism to Host American Tourism Society's First Conference in Israel - 2006-03-16

New York, New York -- The Israel Ministry of Tourism will host the American Tourism Society’s (ATS) first-ever conference in Israel, May 21-26, 2006. The five-star 286 room Dan Tel Aviv Hotel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, is the Conference Headquarters Hotel. This announcement was made jointly by Michael Stolowitzky, President and CEO, American Tourism Society (ATS) and Arie Sommer, Commissioner North America, Israel Ministry of Tourism. El Al, Israel’s Flag Carrier will be the Official ATS Conference Airline, offering ATS delegates special rates from its US Gateways – New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

According to Stolowitzky, “This will be the first ATS Conference to be held in Israel and truly reflects our motto, ‘Bringing the World Together.’ ATS is especially pleased to have the full support and cooperation of the Israel Ministry of Tourism, El Al, as well as the Dan Hotels Israel.”

“The timing of the ATS meeting is excellent,” said Arie Sommer. “Tourism to Israel is once again booming, and we expect 2006 to be the best ever for Israel. The American market is extremely important for Israel and we appreciate the strong support we are receiving from the travel industry. In fact, in 2005 the US market was the number one source of tourism for Israel with 450,000 visitors, a 20% increase over 2004. This year looks even better. The Central Bureau of Statistics reported 134,000 tourist arrivals in January, 2006 showing already a 16% increase over January 2005. Destination Israel is especially attractive to Americans as there is something here for everyone. Therefore, I am confident that we can reach our goal of three million visitors in 2006.”

Don Reynolds, ATS Executive Vice President, noted “the conference in Tel Aviv is a logical next step to ATS’ expansion of the Red/Med Regional Council under the Chairmanship of H.E. Senator Akel Biltaji of Jordan.” ATS held its 2005 Spring Conference in Amman, Jordan, March 2005.

Israel, perfectly located at the fulcrum of Europe, Asia and Africa, is a world-class destination for sophisticated travelers. Israel offers cultural attractions on a par with Europe, the U.S. and Canada, luxury hotels, glamorous spas and a hot restaurant scene- all within an atmosphere that combines the very ancient with the ultra high-tech, and the exotic with the contemporary.

The ATS conference will take place in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem including a full day of site-seeing in the Capital. Delegates will have an array of post-conference tour offerings to accommodate their special interests.

The luxurious Dan Tel Aviv Hotel, a “resort hotel in the city,” is well-situated across from the beach, as well as close to the city’s bustling shopping boulevards, commercial center and nightlife. Guests can enjoy the fresh water indoor pool, the salt-water outdoor pool and the beach, as well as take advantage of the newly renovated Spa. In addition to the fully equipped Business Center and Executive Lounge, all the hotel’s guest rooms have the latest technology for hi -speed modem connections.

About ATS - Bringing the World Together
The American Tourism Society (ATS) was established in 1989 by a group of US tourism industry executives including ATS Chairman, Alex Harris, CTC, who is also Chairman, General Tours. It is a nonprofit, nonpolitical travel industry organization whose membership includes tour operators, hotels and resorts, international airlines, cruise lines, Government Tourist Offices, meeting and incentive planners, travel agents, tourism educators and public relations and marketing firms dedicated to promoting, developing and expanding high-quality, reliable travel between North America and the ATS destination areas: the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean / Red Sea Region and Russia. ATS holds semi-annual meeting and trade shows hosted by different destination countries each year; has a website www.americantourismsociety.org.

For more information on The American Tourism Society: 545 Madison Avenue,13th Floor, New York, NY 10022; USA|Phone 212.893.8111, Fax 212.893.8153; email: [email protected]

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Photo From Left: Don Reynolds, Executive Vice President, ATS; Michael Mayer, General Manager, North & Central America, EL AL Israel Airlines; Michael Stolowitzky, President & CEO, ATS; Arie Sommer, Commissioner, North America, Israel Minister of Tourism; Alex Harris, CTC, Chairman, ATS and Chairman, General Tours; Gabi Mor, Director of Marketing & Sales, North America, Dan Hotels.