2016 BEGINS WITH INCREASE IN AMERICAN TOURISM TO ISRAEL
Coming on the heels of 2015 -- the best year ever for American tourism in Israel -- Israel saw a further 8% increase in tourism from the U.S. in January 2016 over January 2015, as well as 9% more Canadians. A great start to a new year!
TOP BIRDING EVENTS CONTINUE TO EMERGE IN ISRAEL
As the meeting place of three continents, Israel plays host to two annual migrations of millions of birds seeking summer in the North and the South, making it the perfect destination for some of the top international birding events. Champions of the Flyway (COTF) is an international bird race that celebrates the extraordinary miracle of bird migration. In 2016, the race will take place on March 29th in the migration hotspot of Eilat in southern Israel. Another major birding event, the 10th annual Eilat Birds Festival, will take place from March 20-27, 2016 at the Israel Ornithological Center. The festival, the most significant international event in the Western Palearctic birding scene, is designed to bring together birders from all over the world for an unforgettable week during the peak of spring migration.
ISRAEL NAMED TOP WINE DESTINATION FOR 2016
Condé Nast Traveler has listed Israel as the third hottest wine destination for 2016, ranked among a list of nine top destinations. According to Laura Maniec, master sommelier: "Wine has been made here since biblical times, of course; but for much of its history, Israel's been known for kosher wines of dubious quality. A new breed of winemakers has set out to change that, by embracing modern, New World techniques and the principles of quality winemaking. Small, boutique wineries are sprouting everywhere, particularly in the Galilee/Golan Heights and Judean Hills regions."
INTERNATIONAL LIGHT FESTIVAL IN JERUSALEM: MAY 25 - JUNE 2, 2016
Following the success of the Jerusalem Festival of Light last year, Jerusalem's Old City will once again transform into a magnificent backdrop for light installations, exhibits and performances in this year's spectacular event from May 25 - June 2, 2016. This celebration of light is once again expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors. This year, artists from Israel and abroad will present spectacular 3-D light exhibits, artistic sculptures and structures, and impressive videos projected onto buildings around the Old City.
JETHRO TULL - THE ROCK OPERA
Ian Anderson celebrates the life and times of the English agricultural inventor Jethro Tull with the announcement of a new series of concert tours beginning September 2015. The shows tell the story of the original Jethro Tull's life, re-imagined and illustrated with Anderson's best-known songs from rock band Jethro Tull's repertoire. The performance is in a quasi-operatic structure with virtual guests on video and some additional newly written songs.
Israel Tourism Minister Yariv Levin recently inaugurated a new project that encourages tourists to capture their journey on social media as soon as they land in Israel. To make this fun for visitors, a new "Selfie Station" has just been placed at Ben Gurion Airport, so visitors can feel as though they're already sunning on the beach even before stepping out of the airport. This station is just the first of several selfie stations to be placed around Israel, with others planned for Jerusalem, Acre, Eilat and the Dead Sea.
BRIAN WILSON TOURS IN ISRAEL
Beach Boy Brian Wilson is set to perform in Israel on June 8th at the Ra'anana Amphitheater, as part of a world tour celebrating 50 years of making music. The concert will include all the songs from the seminal Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds, released in 1966, and Wilson will be joined onstage by Beach Boys members Blondie Chaplin and Al Jardine.
Tel Aviv has the most established skate scene in Israel, boasting a large, modern outdoor park, while Jerusalem is home to one of the oldest skate shops in the country, Gili's Skateshop. The country has a very grassroots scene and a strong sense of community among skateboarders. Red Bull recently captured this vibrant skateboarding scene around Israel, particularly in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Be'ersheva and Jerusalem. Find these images here.
Photo Credit: DVL
JERUSALEM DOES THE CHARLESTON
See the city come alive as locals break into dance, performing the Charleston on the streets of Jerusalem: