by Lisa Grimaldi | May 01, 2005
After a nearly five-year void, Israeli incentive suppliers are anticipating a return of interest from some incentive groups.
    While a popular destination for groups in the past, Israel suffered a plunge in business beginning in fall 2000, when the most recent armed Palestinian uprising began to create havoc within the country.
    But now, with “the smell of peace in the air,” according to Lior Gelfand, managing director of Tel Aviv-based DMC Ortra Ltd., suppliers once again are hopeful about luring international incentives to their country. Gelfand plans to get his incentive business, primarily from European firms, back on track by next year.
    Zeev Anolik, manager of groups and incentives at Tel Aviv-based Amiel Tours, said his company handled its first incentive program in several years this winter, sponsored by a Japanese firm. In addition, he noted, Amiel participated in the IMEX trade show held last month in Frankfurt, Germany.
    But the U.S. market remains wary for now. According to Judy Jackson, industry relations manager at Fenton, Mo.-based Maritz Travel, Israel will not be a viable destination again until the U.S. State Department’s official travel warning for the country is lifted.