FILED UNDER SOMETHINGISRAELI >> Travel
Israel tourist chiefs are planning to launch a range of initiatives to increase gay tourism.
Proclaiming itself as the only country in the Middle East where being gay is not against the law, it prides itself on its tolernace in such cities as Tel Aviv.
"The effort was born after the Tel Aviv homosexual community came to us, and explained that Tel Aviv as a tourism product was highly attractive to the gay market, which is an incredible group of travel consumers eager to go to destinations that are friendly to their community," Israel Hotel Association director-general Eli Ziv told website Israel21c.
A range of package tours with flights and accomendation is being planned for 2006 to get both Jewish and non-Jewish people to choose Tel Aviv as a destination which welcomes gay people.
In 2005, the city's annual Gay Pride event attracted 100,000 revellers and the city believes that a gay tourism marketing campaign will increase numbers throughout the year and not just during specific gay events.