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April 29, 2010

Israel Tourism Launches Green Travel Itineraries

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

This Earth Day, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, North America is launching a 24-month promotion underscoring Israel’s pivotal role in the worldwide environmental movement: ISRAEL: ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF GREEN.

For the next two years, the Israel Ministry of Tourism will make this a key message to potential travelers to Israel. A special ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF GREEN brochure will debut at New York’s Earth Fair 2010 at Grand Central, and the new website and blog ( will feature regularly updated news on green innovations and travel tips.

For many destinations around the world, latching on to the “green” bandwagon is all the rage. In Israel, these practices and ideologies have long been implemented into every aspect of Israeli life. Starting in the first decade of the 20th century, a historic movement was born designed to restore Israel’s forests and to transform a distressed landscape. The first kibbutz, Degania, was founded on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in 1910, giving a practical boost to the dream of making the desert bloom.

“A century ago, the land of Israel was an ecological disaster,” says Arie Sommer, Israel Tourism Commission for North and South America, “four centuries of Ottoman rule had seen millions of trees cut down for one simple reason – property taxes were calculated by the number of trees owned by landowners.

A hundred years later, Israel remains a leader in the green movement. Better Place electric cars will launch in Israel this year; Tel Aviv’s largest garbage dump has been transformed into an urban park; Tel Aviv’s mayor has set a green standard for all hotels; and Israel leads the world in the number of trees planted per acre during the last century.

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